Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley intends to sell his club once they have secured their Premier League status for another season.
According to the Daily Telegraph, at least two new potential buyers for the Magpies have emerged in the last few weeks, with Ashley keen to end his 11-year reign at the club. However, there will be no further developments on this front until Newcastle's Premier League fate has been decided.
Sports Direct founder Ashley has become an increasingly unpopular figure among the Tyneside faithful, not least for his reluctance to finance significant investment in the transfer market.
Newcastle United fans will no doubt be encouraged by the renewed possibility of Ashley's imminent departure. They will also hope that new owners are in place by the time the summer transfer window opens in July, especially seeing as the window closes on August 9 this year.
Ashley's last attempt to sell Newcastle United ended in acrimony late last year, as talks with the prospective buyer, the financier Amanda Staveley, broke down amid mutual recriminations between the two sides.
Nevertheless, Ashley will reportedly be willing to reopen negotiations with her, among other bidders, if she makes a new bid once Newcastle have avoided relegation.
The Magpies are currently just four points above the relegation zone but have enjoyed solid league form in 2018, with their only defeats coming against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool. A home victory over fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town on Saturday would take Newcastle one step closer to Premier League survival.
As for their manager Rafael Benitez, he has made no secret of his frustration with the lack of funds made available to him for the last three transfer windows. As yet, no talks have taken place to renew his current contract, which runs out after the end of next season.
It seems unlikely that he will be willing to commit his future to the club while uncertainty still reigns as to who the new owners will be, and indeed whether there will even be a takeover.