Amanda Staveley's proposed Newcastle takeover seems to have taken a step forward after face-to-face talks with current owner Mike Ashley.
The duo are reported to have met in person for the first time on Thursday evening, with the Chronicle Live claiming that Staveley and Ashley held discussions over the club at the London-based Paradise Indian restaurant.
The Times' North East correspondent George Caulkin ratified those rumours by making a similar revelation, but explained that an agreement to sell the Magpies to Staveley could now take another two months to complete.
Mike Ashley & Amanda Staveley talked Nufc takeover over a curry in London last night. Despite the negativity around this week there’s still a desire to do a deal & her bid is the only game in town. Less good: increasing belief that it may not be completed until February.— George Caulkin (@CaulkinTheTimes) December 7, 2017
Staveley has already seen two bids - believed to be around the £300m mark - rejected by Ashley, with Newcastle's current owner expecting more cash before he parts company with the St.James' Park-based team.
Staveley's company PCP Partners wants to buy Ashley out, and the vast majority of Newcastle supporters are for the move if it means the Sports Direct founder finally leaves their club.
Before Thursday talks had only taken place between the pair's solicitors, but a face-to-face meeting over curry was seen as a new breakthrough in negotiations even though a deal wasn't struck in person.
I'll bet he only agreed to meet up if she paid for the meal and drinks.....the buy out will be off now as she will be skint after fatty ate the contents of the kitchen— Bedford_Mag (@labpedro) December 8, 2017
Reports have claimed that Ashley made be holding out for as much as £400m, but would be willing to accept a deal with staggered payments if the right offer is made.
Staveley is rumoured to be considering using her contacts in the Middle East - namely Dubai or Saudi investors - to help get the sale over the line, but those individuals would only be used if she fails to convince Ashley to take her next bid.
Counter claims had also insinuated that Staveley might even walk away from acquiring Newcastle by Christmas if a deal couldn't be reached, but those have been rebuffed by her camp.
Newcastle fans had hoped a sale would be completed before the festive period to allow manager Rafa Benitez to go on a January spending spree, but those wishes have gone unheard with no deal in place yet.