Newcastle United is subject of the interest of four potential buyers, as current owner Mike Ashley has cut his asking price in order to sell the club faster, according to Newcastle-based newspaper the Chronicle.

The report claims that Ashley is looking at having the club, who are doing well in their first season back in the Premier League, off his hands as early as February, and has reduced his asking price for the St James’ Park side by around £70 million.

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Ashley, 53, is also the owner of Sports Direct, and has an estimated worth of $2.8 billion (2017) — he opened his first store (although it didn’t evolve into Sports Direct until later) at the age of 18, with the help of a small loan from family members.

Ashley is thought to still be open to increasing his asking price again once a new TV rights deal is agreed, but for now there is opportunity for prospective buyers to steal in at a cheaper price.

Amanda Staveley, who the Liverpool Echo report is also interested in buying the Anfield club, is thought to have held informal talks with the Magpies concerning a takeover bid, and is the most notable of the known prospective buyers.

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Staveley is a Cambridge University graduate from Yorkshire, with strong ties to Middle Eastern investment; she has acted in the financial market on behalf of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, during his investment in Barclays bank, as well as being heavily involved in his takeover of Manchester City — so she certainly knows the ins and outs of purchasing a football club.