Amanda Staveley's Saudi consortium is eyeing a stake in Inter Milan.
And after failing to land Newcastle last year, Staveley and her Saudi backers are now working on a deal for the Italian giants.
Mike Ashley had hoped his agreement with Staveley's consortium, which included the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and British property tycoons the Reuben brothers, David and Simon, could still be resurrected despite the withdrawal of their offer.
But confirmation of government interference last week is all but certain to bury that deal for ever.
The Saudis will now look to invest monies from their sovereign wealth fund into one of Italy's most famous clubs, with electronics retailer Suning racing to find a buyer.