Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has taken the club off the market and is planning to revert back to his previous recruitment regulations of only buying emerging talent under 25-years-old.
Ashley has been attempting to sell the club since October 2017 after gaining promotion back to the Premier League. The Sports Direct owner has grown frustrated by the lack of serious offers and many deals have fallen off the table in recent months. Ashley is reportedly asking for a price tag of around £280m for the club and no investment group has been able to secure the appropriate funding.
Mike Ashley is no longer looking to sell #nufc after meaningful bids have failed to materialise. He’s sick of spending money on lawyer fees for nothing. Going forward, he’ll be hard on recruitment, sticking to regulations they’ve previously put in place. [Sunday Time Sport]— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) March 3, 2019
Ashley has always been known to be frugal with his investment as has been highlighted by his transfer tactics. According to the Sunday Times, Ashley will be holding on to the club and hardening his stance on the club's recruitment strategy, something that does not sit well with manager Rafa Benetiz.
The owner prefers to purchase younger players, under the age of 25, and develop them within the squad. This has left the club without any big-name stars in recent memory and has led to tension with the manager. With Benitez out of contract at the end of the season, the Spanish manager would like some financial clarity before he signs a new deal with the club.
Newcastle have not provided Benitez with a concrete offer, but he wants to have some detailed discussions on a number of issues pertaining to the club.
In a separate report from Chronicle Live, Benitez will look for concrete assurances on the transfer policy before he signs his new contract. Benitez is keen on knowing exactly how much he will have to spend in the window before it opens. In previous circumstances, the policy required the manager to bring a name forward to the owner before he knows if he will have the opportunity to sign him.
This painstaking system of player recruitment has led Newcastle to struggle in recent windows as there is no concrete direction the club can aim towards. Benitez would like to adjust this frustrating protocol as he searches for a new deal to keep him with the club.
The Magpies continue their fight for Premier League safety on Saturday as they host Everton at St James' Park.