Takeover talk grows louder

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Newcastle remained a club in flux on Thursday as speculation mounted over its future ownership.

Hours after senior officials insisted no discussions had taken place with the Singapore-based Profitable Group, the far east company claimed to have opened negotiations over a potential bid.

It is understood they have made formal contact with Keith Harris, chairman of investment bankers Seymour Pierce, who has once again been engaged by owner Mike Ashley to sell the club.

However, managing director Derek Llambias has revealed talks have taken place with "three or four" other interested parties, and prospective buyers are currently mobilising their forces in the wake of Ashley's £100million 'come-and-get-it' offer.

Little detail has emerged from St James' Park with the current regime desperate to get out after a disastrous two years in charge, which resulted in relegation from the Barclays Premier League at the end of last season.

However, South African and Omani consortia have been linked with the club, while former chairman Freddy Shepherd is also rumoured to have been asked to spearhead a bid.

Indeed, Shepherd has reportedly already met Alan Shearer, the man who ended the last campaign as manager and the fans' favourite for the job on a permanent basis, to discuss possible ways forward.

But neither he nor the Profitable Group was making any formal comment as the rumours grew in intensity.

Supporters craving some positive news from a club which is imploding before their eyes could be forgiven for starting to believe there are better times around the corner.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Alan Shearer

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