Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer has claimed that the imminent departure of owner Mike Ashley will be a good thing for the club.
The controversial businessman officially put Newcastle up for sale earlier this month, and appears to be hopeful of an exit before the January transfer window.
Premier League all-time top scorer and Magpies hero Shearer has expressed his belief that the club could make significant progress without Ashley at the helm.
"I could not help but celebrate the news last week that Mike Ashley officially wants out of Newcastle United," the Premier League record goalscorer wrote for the Sun. "It is something the fans have wanted to happen for some time. He has held Newcastle back for too long.
"The reason Ashley has been disliked during his ten-year tenure is because he has not invested enough to realise the club’s potential.
"Trying to change the name of the ground, plus his poor treatment of certain managers - which he admitted in a recent Sky interview - have not helped either.
"Nor has selling the best players. I have never quite got why he bought the club in the first place. It has made him unhappy and everyone else connected with it for that matter."
Shearer also sent out a message to potential new owners about how to take the club forward after a miserable period.
"I don’t know potential buyer Amanda Staveley, or what her plans are for the club, but I know what they should be.
"They should be to back a world-class manager to the hilt. Because the club has one in Rafa Benitez...Imagine what he could be doing with some serious financial backing."
Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot, meanwhile, has revealed that he and his teammates are excited over the prospect of a takeover.
“There’s obviously interest which is exciting for everyone," he said, as quoted by the Mirror. "Hopefully someone comes in who can take the club forward, which will be great. The infrastructure is fantastic.
“As players we just hope everything works out for the club because we’ve been through a lot these past few years, but there’s a positive vibe around the place and we’ve got to make sure we continue with that.