Newcastle United’s long-running saga to find a buyer looks set to be at an end with owner Mike Ashley reportedly agreeing terms to sell the club to Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan.
Ashley, who owns British sportswear retailer Sports Direct International, has reportedly agreed to sell the club for £350 million ($445m), UK newspaper The Sun reported late on Sunday.
The newspaper added that contracts have been signed and submitted to the Premier League.
Ashley, majority owner of Newcastle since 2007, has been seeking a buyer for the club for a number of years, and was involved in discussions with Amanda Staveley, and her company PCP Capital Partners over a possible deal for £250 million ($348 million).
Staveley, whose company was instrumental in the deal that saw Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour buy Manchester City, had brought together potential investors from around the globe – believed to be from the Middle East, east Asia and the United States.
Sheikh Khaled, who is a cousin of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, previously led a $2.6bn bid to buy Liverpool FC, which would have been the most expensive takeover in the history of the game. Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group, however, turned the off down and insisted the Premier League club is not for sale.
Sheikh Khaled is the founder of Dubai-based Bin Zayed Group, a conglomerate with diverse business interests in the local and international markets.