Newcastle United have been at the centre of takeover speculation all summer but the situation isn’t close to a resolution
If there is no buy-out the club will rightly face questions about their internal due diligence process , which was supposed to vet potential groups who reached the advanced stages of negotiations. After Amanda Staveley and Peter Kenyon both failed to back up their bid with proof of funds or an acceptable bid, the club said they had put a process in place to avoid a repeat – but Bin Zayed’s bid has also been far from straightforward after a flurry of activity early in the summer.
Ashley’s fixer Justin Barnes is understood to have a influential role in takeover negotiaitons.
After Rafa Benitez’s departure Newcastle are now widely believed to be targeting Steve Bruce, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, in a reflection of their desire to bring in someone with Premier League experience , broad enough shoulders to withstand the criticism and who can act as steadying influence in the dressing room.
But that is unlikely to pacify supporters and for all Bruce’s experience, his potential appointment will continue a logic-defying summer from the Magpies. Bruce is certainly no Joe Kinnear – players like him and his managerial CV is solid enough – but for a Premier League club who have just had one of the elite coaches in world football, it is a massive gamble to bring in someone that supporters will question from the off.
In order to get a Visa for the Premier League’s Asia Trophy, the club will need to appoint in the next few days.
The club will also start to move on transfers when a manager is appointed. They need to replace Salomon Rondon, Ayoze Perez and Mo Diame simply to stand still next season.
Against that backdrop, punters have begun to place money on United to go down. Bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “Newcastle are the best backed team in the Premier League Relegation market by a considerable margin. They’ve come in from 10/3 to 11/4.
“Rafa Benitez was clearly loved on Tyneside and punters are putting little faith in the next incumbent – whoever they may be.” They remain sixth favourites for the drop, though, with Sheffield United at 4/6.
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