Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is willing to back Kevin Keegan in the summer market - if he keeps the club in the Premiership.

The Daily Mail says Ashley and Keegan met after Saturday's unlucky home defeat by Blackburn, when the Newcastle manager warned the billionaire businessman that his team are embroiled in a difficult relegation battle and he cannot guarantee their safety.

A source close to Ashley said: "Mike has every confidence in Kevin Keegan. He is desperate to keep Kevin as his manager and if they do stay in the Premier League, he will provide funds for him to buy new players in the close season and give the club a fresh start."

Ashley has already ploughed £250million of his fortune into Newcastle to buy the club and clear debts.