A Nigerian consortium is ready to meet Mike Ashley's asking price for Newcastle United.
It has been reported that Ashley has been courting potential buyers in the Middle East but a surprise bidder has now emerged from a company called NVA Entertainment Group, based in Canary Wharf, who are attempting to broker a deal involving a number of wealthy entrepreneurs.
NVA handle Rio Ferdinand's PR and commercial interests and also arranged the pre-World Cup friendly between England and Croatia at Old Trafford in 2006.
"All along I have been working hard to get wealthy and football loving Nigerian entrepreneurs to buy the club since the owner Mike Ashley indicated his willingness to sell the club to the person, people or entrepreneurs that can meet the £400 million selling price of the club," NVA CEO Chris Nathaniel told Kick Off Nigeria.
"Right now I am happy to tell you that well meaning Nigerians have responded and the consortium of Nigerian entrepreneurs has so far contributed £350 million to buy the club but the club boss, Ashley stood his ground that he won't sell the club until the money is raised to the asking price of £400 million.
"So what that means is that we need to raise another £50 or £100 million to shut the door behind the other top Arab companies that are also interested in the club. The Arab companies have also indicated interest and made offers but they haven't met the asking price too."