Kinnear reveals Ashley talks

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Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has revealed owner Mike Ashley is in talks with eight prospective buyers for the club.

The 61-year-old, who was drafted in as interim manager last Friday, knows his stay at St James' Park will be finite. However, as efforts continue to push through a sale, Kinnear hinted he could be at the helm for a little longer than first thought.

Asked if his stay could be permanent, Kinnear said: "I don't think so, to be honest, because I know for a fact Mike is talking to eight consortiums."

He added: "I don't know the outcome of those. I haven't got a time-scale on it, so I don't really know what the outcome is.

"But I know he is in talks with at least eight consortiums because he has told me that himself.

"Who they are, what they are, when it will happen, there is no time-scale on it.

"I am contracted for eight games, but I assume that should due diligence and the deals go on a little bit longer, it may run into 10 or 12 games."

It is understood prospectuses of sale - an official document detailing the club's current financial position - have been sent out to seven interested parties with consortia from Nigeria and South Africa among the most prominent.

However, the potential purchasers have all had to sign a confidentiality clause to prevent those figures being made public.

The Nigerian group has made no secret of its interest, while the South Africans had kept their own counsel until Thursday when a report named and quoted Jonathan Cleland, a South African-raised Scot, as its head.

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

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