American investors interested in Newcastle

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley could sell the Premier League club to American businessmen, according to various reports in British newspapers on Friday.

Representatives of Toon owner Mike Ashley are understood to have met delegates from the New York-based private equity fund InterMedia Partners to discuss a potential deal for the club.

However, according to one report Friday morning, Ashley set a price of $840 million -- but as that is $572 million more than he paid for the Magpies a year ago, it apparently torpedoed the chances of a deal being struck, at least imminently.

U.S. sources have confirmed that the investment company is interested in the club, but not at that price.

Newcastle have so far issued no comment, but previously the regime has indicated that Ashley is at St. James' Park for the long haul, rather than to make a quick profit and move on.

But the gossip in the City is that the club just might be available at the right price.

Ashley recently appointed Derek Llambias in the new role of managing director following chairman Chris Mort's departure. But with the signing of Jonas "Spiderman" Guiterrez earlier this week now thrown into doubt, this latest news is an added, unwanted uncertainty for the Toon Army.