Peter Kenyon's bid to stage a takeover of Newcastle United is on the rocks, as he remains £100m short of Mike Ashley's asking price.
The former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive is fronting a consortium which is in talks to buy Newcastle as Ashley prepares to sell the club after eleven years at the helm.
But the Newcastle Chronicle reports that Kenyon has only managed to muster £200m so far, meaning that he is still well short of Ashley's £300m asking price.
Kenyon has been seeking backers for his bid since September and has been working with American financial firm Rockefeller Capital Management.
Even if he is allowed to stagger his payments, Kenyon will not be able to meet Ashley's demands yet and it appears increasingly likely that Newcastle will not be sold before the January transfer window.
There is some good news for Newcastle though, as Rafa Benitez has reportedly been given assurances that his January transfer ambitions will not be hampered by the takeover delay.
The Mirror claims that Benitez wants four new players next month, with an attacking midfielder and a left back being his priority positions.
Benitez's chief transfer target is Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron, the exciting Paraguayan who helped Atlanta to win their first ever MLS Cup last weekend.
Atlanta president Darren Eales said this week that he would only listen to offers 'starting with a three'. A £30m bid would break Newcastle's transfer record for the first time since they paid £16.8m for Michael Owen in 2005.
The subject of transfers will be on the agenda when Benitez meets with managing director Lee Charnley next week to finalise the club's January wish list.
The Spaniard has a back-up list of European loan deals in case he does not receive any funding for permanent signings.