Newcastle legend Alan Shearer discusses the club takeover
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Newcastle’s new owners have a few months until the January transfer window opens, but it’s clear who they want to bring in first. Magpies supporters have been frustrated in recent years at the perceived lack of investment from Mike Ashley.
The British business tycoon had made it clear he wanted to sell and the Saudi-led Public Investment Fund (PIF) were front of the queue last year.
An agreement had been made between the two parties on a fee, but legal issues led to the deal collapsing last year.
Fast forward 12 months and the deal was back on after Saudi Arabia allegedly settled a piracy dispute with beIN Sports.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has been listed as the chair of PIF.
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And their value is reportedly set at close to £250billion, making them the richest club in world football by some margin.
Fans have already started speculating on who Newcastle could sign with Steve Bruce also facing immediate pressure.
Antonio Conte is being strongly linked with taking over from Bruce now that PIF can ultimately fund a move for a big-name manager.
Anyone who does come in though will want to see the kind of project Newcastle want to build.
And it’s clear that returning to the European stage in the very near future is a huge goal for the new owners.
But their current squad has little experience in Europe with the likes of Joe Willock, Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton among those who have.
Newcastle will want more experienced players coming in who know how to win on the big stage.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Philippe Coutinho is at the top of their wishlist.
It is claimed that PIF have already approached Coutinho’s representatives over a move to the north east of England.
Now the takeover has gone through, Coutinho is said to be the ‘main priority’ with Barcelona willing to listen to offers in the region of £42million.
Coutinho joined Barcelona back in January 2018 in a record deal worth up to £142m, but he’s failed to live up to expectations since then.
He’s since returned to the starting line-up under Ronald Koeman this season, but the Brazilian has struggled to make an impact.
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