Xisco breaks Toon silence

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Newcastle's Spanish striker Xisco has broken the players' wall of silence to admit the team is suffering from the turmoil that has engulfed the club.

The Magpies owner Mike Ashley is asking for a staggering £481million to sell the club to a group of investors from Dubai, meanwhile Newcastle are left without a manager and with fans in uproar.

Xisco is the first player to speak out about the situation, saying in Spanish newspaper Marca: "The players are on the outskirts of all this, and these are things that don't help the team."

He added: "We have to try to remain focused and play well in the games ahead. Then, when things are sorted, then we'll look at it. Now we have to concentrate on getting a good streak of results and nothing else."

Xisco, who scored on his debut in the 2-1 home defeat to Hull City at the weekend, said he was stunned by the atmosphere at St James' Park .

He added: "It was a feeling that I had never experienced before. I have seen few places so animated.

"It's a pity that we couldn't win the game because then my debut would have been perfect. I'm happy to have scored a goal but the joy wasn't complete."

Ashley is continuing to seek a buyer for the club and despite the Dubai ruling family insisting they are not looking to buy any Premier League club, talks have been opened between Newcastle's owner and the Dubai-based group Zabeel Investments, according to

Sale documents have been given to Zabeel by Ashley containing a price of US dollars 860million (£481million) for the club he bought for £130million 16 months ago, and then ploughed another £100million into.

Zabeel Investments is owned by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and was part of the consortium that tried to buy Liverpool in 2006, but Zabeel Investments chairman Mohammed Ali Al Hashimi has insisted he has not been directly approached.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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