Newcastle United are set to be restricted in this summer’s transfer market because ‘the club remains in limbo’.
That’s according to Chris Waugh, a journalist for The Athletic.
A £300million deal involving Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers was agreed with Mike Ashley in April 2020 (via BBC Sport).
But the group pulled out after running out of patience with the Premier League’s lengthy scrutiny process.
Ashley, described as ‘desperate’ to move on by sources close to the 56-year-old, has not given up on the deal and hopes to resurrect it.
An arbitration panel will now assess the validity of the league’s concerns in what could be a decisive battle.
The report states that, because ‘reluctant custodian’ Ashley remains in his post and is still waiting on the takeover, the club’s transfer budget will be limited.
As a result, a ‘much-needed squad overhaul’ will have to wait, so Steve Bruce – or whoever else may be in charge – will be forced to deal with a quiet summer window.
It appears Ashley has the perfect excuse not to spend money this summer.
It’s dispiriting news for Newcastle fans. The Magpies flirted with relegation this year and, though recent form suggests they’re too good to go down when Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson are fit and available, they looked completely out of touch with the rest of the league when those two star men were out.
You can understand why Ashley wouldn’t want to commit huge sums when he sees his future elsewhere, but the Toon is desperately short of squad depth.
On the other hand, he did sanction a £20million deal for Wilson last summer in the aftermath of the takeover’s apparent collapse, so maybe one or two exciting signings could still be made.
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