However, a joint announcement could now fall at any time, with the Premier League working on the fine print of Ashley’s offer on the table.
Staveley, PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben brothers and Saudia Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are believed to have secured the exclusive deal with Ashley, the owner now awaiting confirmation of the sale of the Premier League.
Sources close to Ashley’s camp have now confirmed that a down payment has been made.
The Daily Mail, via Martin Samuel, suggests that it cost the group of bidders £ 17 million, which would be non-refundable if the deal does not go through.
There is an air of caution on Tyneside, fans of club legend Alan Shearer will still be nervous under Ashley’s leadership, but no hiccups have emerged in recent days and a deal could be announced even before the middle of the next month.
Ashley agreed that £ 300 million would be a great price for Newcastle given the financial situation in the world right now in the midst of the virus pandemic.
The Toon owner remains in the United States where he was before the world plunged into crisis due to the Coronavirus, with current club staff having virtually no information on the takeovers.
Ashley put the Magpies up for sale three years ago, but Staveley is keen to direct a purchase for United since the 1-1 draw with Liverpool in 2017.