North-West-based businessman Geoff Sheard has emerged as a possible buyer for Newcastle.
The Magpies on Tuesday confirmed they were in talks with Sheard through Seymour Pierce chairman Keith Harris a day after handing Tyneside businessman Barry Moat further time to put in place the financial arrangements to table his own formal offer.
However, the latest potential bidder, who failed in his efforts to buy Sheffield Wednesday last season and has previously been linked with Newcastle, is yet to prove he has the funds available to launch a takeover attempt.
Managing director Derek Llambias said: "Geoff is dealing with Keith Harris and we are still waiting for proof of funds."
It is understood current owner Mike Ashley will finally make a decision on whether to sell or remain at the helm himself by the end of this week, although a series of informal deadlines have passed already this summer.
But unless someone comes up with the £100million Ashley wants for the club, and can service its £39million overdraft facility, the odds on him remaining in place are short.
A series of interested parties have entered into discussions with the club since it was put on the market for the second time in May, and at least two, as well as Moat, remain actively engaged in the process.
Whether Sheard, who is understood to have backing from the United States and would also be keen to appoint Alan Shearer as manager, is among them, is unknown.
However, what is certain is that time is fast running down before crucial decision have to be taken if the Magpies are to draw a line under yet another depressing saga.
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