It has been revealed that Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan almost bought Newcastle back in 2008, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Since Sheikh Mansour bought Man City in 2008, the club have risen from the mid-tier of the Premier League to the top, and have clinched three Premier League titles.

City have spent millions on new facilities and have signed world-class talent such as Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus.

Francois Nel/Getty Images Sport

However, things could’ve turned out very differently, as a current court case has revealed that the Sheikh was close to buying Newcastle instead.

Mike Ashley is currently suing his ex-business partner, the former Magpies vice-president Tony Jimenez, and over the course of the trial it has been revealed that Ashley refused to deal with Mansour over a potential takeover bid.

Mr Jimenez’ lawyer, Adam Johnson QC, said, via the Manchester Evening News:

Mr Ashley refused to meet a potential buyer who went on to purchase Manchester City Football Club.

It has also been revealed that Ashley hampered a potential takeover by another party by causing a disturbance in a bar in Dubai.

Adam Johnson QC also said:

He (Jimenez) lined up some further potential buyers and Mr Ashley then visited Dubai between September 13 and 18 2008 in order to meet them.

Mr Jimenez says that on the evening of September 16 2008, Mr Ashley created a disturbance in a bar in Dubai.

Although Mr Jimenez helped Mr Ashley minimise the impact of the trouble, it again ruined the potential sale of Newcastle United Football Club that Mr Jimenez had lined up.

Mike Ashley is reportedly still keen to sell Newcastle, after years of failing to find any potential bidders.