And if the deal goes ahead, manager Allardyce will be facing another uncertain time under his third set of owners since arriving at St James' Park.
Though Ashley insists he has no plans to sell the Premier League strugglers just six months after buying it for £170m, the signs are he is ready to listen to serious offers.
And, after such a torrid start to his reign in the north east, the loaded retail sports magnate, worth £1.9billion, may well find the interest from Singapore too tempting.
Our source said: "The talk is that £200m would be enough to buy Newcastle - and it could happen early in 2008."
If he cuts the deal, Ashley will walk away having banked a whopping £30m from his investment - or £100,000 for each day in charge.