Amanda Staveley is still interested in the possibility of buying Newcastle United but won't bid for the club unless Mike Ashley lowers his £400m asking price, claims the Times' north-east football correspondent George Caulkin.
Having written an article about the ownership situation at Newcastle, Caulkin was peppered with questions from Magpies fans, including one who asked "where's Amanda Staveley gone?"
Staveley submitted a bid for Newcastle last season but it did not meet Ashley's valuation and was rejected. Caulkin claimed that Staveley had not "gone anywhere", but said that she would not be bidding for the club at its current asking price.
Don’t think she’s gone anywhere. But, last I heard from her, she won’t be bidding at £400m.— George Caulkin (@CaulkinTheTimes) July 20, 2018
Staveley and her company PCP Capital Partners lodged a £250m bid during last season but Ashley demanded £300m and then ended talks with Staveley while she stalled on making a fresh bid.
Ashley's valuation of the club has reportedly risen by another £100m since then, and Newcastle fans are desperate for somebody to buy the club after another summer of disappointment in the transfer market.
Ashley had convinced Rafa Benitez to stay by promising that he would be able to spend "every penny generated by the club" this summer. However, for a third consecutive summer these promises have not come to fruition.
Of the three players signed during this transfer window, two were already on loan at St James' Park last season (Martin Dubravka and Kenedy) and the other was a free transfer (Ki Sung-Yueng).
Caulkin claims that Benitez is now resigned to a relegation battle due to a lack of support from Ashley. He will have to sell in order to buy, with Aleksandar Mitrovic likely to join Fulham for £20m in the coming days.