'Several bidders' meet Ashley price

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Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has received at least two offers of £100million for the club.

Managing director Derek Llambias has confirmed that several bids at the sportswear magnate's asking price have been tabled as hopes of a quick sale grow.

He said: "There have been more than two bids at £100million. At the moment, we are in the hands of lawyers and it is all ongoing."

He added: "We are giving interested parties all the help that they need."

The identities of the bidders remain a closely-guarded secret with all having signed non-disclosure agreements before being granted access to the club's books.

Llambias is understood to have shown a Malaysian consortium around St James' Park and the club's training ground last week, while the Singapore-based Profitable Group and former chairman Freddy Shepherd are known to have held discussions with Seymour Pierce, the investment bank handling the sale.

However, amid suggestions that there have been offers at lower prices - the Malaysians were said to have bid £80million, but agreed to take on an overdraft of up to £40million - Llambias is adamant that £100million remains the figure prospective buyers need to meet.

The Magpies were put up for sale days after Ashley and Llambias held talks with Alan Shearer over the manager's job, and that vacancy is still to be filled.

Shearer is keen to take on the role, but it is caretaker boss Chris Hughton who is currently putting the players through their paces at a pre-season training camp in Ireland as talks behind the scenes continue.

Whoever does buy the club, time is fast running out before the start of the new Coca-Cola Championship season on August 8 with the squad yet to be re-shaped and an annual wage bill which has been reduced to around £62million in the wake of recent departures, still way in excess of what a side outside of the Barclays Premier League can afford.

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

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Premier League
Newcastle United
Alan Shearer

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