Newcastle will be targeted by a £350million bid if their Saudi Arabian takeover is rejected, according to reports.
Amanda Staveley is leading the £300m bid with the Saudi Public Investment Fund set to hold an 80 per cent stake in the club.
But should the Saudi consortium fail in their proposed takeover, The Daily Mirror claim the Magpies may already have another potential buyer in American media mogul Henry Mauriss, who is believed to have been negotiating with current owner Mike Ashley since last year.
Newcastle will be targeted by a bid from American Henry Mauriss if the Saudi takeover fails
Amanda Staveley is leading the £300m bid with the Saudi Public Investment Fund
But his attempt to buy the club is on the back burner while the Premier League deliberate on the proposed £300m Saudi deal.
That agreement with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is coming under intense scrutiny, with numerous groups, including Amnesty International and beIN Sport, having written to the Premier League to ask for serious consideration of the consequences of letting any deal go through.
And with Amnesty having called the kingdom’s human rights record into question, the report claims that puts Californian Mauriss in an ideal position to launch a rival bid if no deal can be reached with the Saudis.
However, the report also states that the rival bid is believed to have been brokered by Chris Ronnie, a disgraced close associate of Sports Direct boss Ashley.
Mauriss’ bid is believed to have been brokered by convicted fraudster Chris Ronnie though
Ronnie was imprisoned for four years in December 2014 for a £1million fraud while head of former sportswear company JJB Sports.
He is also believed to have a long association with Ashley and is thought to have brought the American bid to the table in January, but he would have no further involvement if a deal was reached.
Moreover, Staveley’s £300m deal is believed to be at an advanced stage and Ashley is now said to be locked into an exclusivity period until early May.
That allegedly means he can have no further talks with Mauriss, having already accepted Staveley’s letter of intent to buy which came with a £17m deposit.
Ronnie is said to be a close associate of Sports Direct boss and current owner Mike Ashley