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Newcastle owner Ashley retains hope of Saudi sale

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley retains hope of selling the club.

The Evening Chronicle says Ashley's approach to the sale of Newcastle now appears to centre firmly on the Saudi-backed consortium, according to those familiar with the takeover process.

Ashley returned to frontline Newcastle business this week, releasing his incendiary statement on pay-per-view prices and signing off on season ticket refund plans.

And claims made this week that his inner circle are now proving harder to contact over alternative takeover proposals have been backed up by one intermediary, who believes the efforts centred on the Saudi-backed bid are putting off alternative groups.

Ex-Roma owner Jim Pallotta is one of the individuals who has looked at Newcastle in recent times - but there are others who have enquired in the last couple of months. But nothing has advanced since the agreement with Amanda Staveley's group.

Ashley's enthusiasm for the Saudi proposal is partly explained by his desire to do further business in the region.

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Paul Vegas

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