Mike Ashley sets Newcastle takeover deadline amid Henry Mauriss interest

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It's not a pleasant time to be a Newcastle United fan.

After almost five months of speculation it was thought that supporters would finally be able to see the back of current owner Mike Ashley.

The Sports Direct mogul has been a divisive figure at best during his tenure at St James' Park, with many Tynesiders hoping that he'd one day move.

That time looked to be moving closer as Amanda Staveley and her Saudi-backed consortium came forward with a £300million proposal to buy the club.

Ashley agreed to sell, so all that was left was the formality of the Premier League's owners' and directors' test to assess the suitability of the buying part.

But with no decision forthcoming after 16 weeks, Staveley's party withdrew from proceedings, citing 'the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty' as the reason.

As a result Newcastle United fans are seething at how the takeover has been handled with many calling on the Premier League for answers.

But while the fallout considers, it seems that another bidder could be on the horizon.

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Henry Maurisss, the American businessman, is still said to be keen on a move to buy the club.

He emerged as an 11th-hour bidder with reports in June suggesting that he was willing to top PIF's offer by making a formal bid of £350million for the club.

That interest appeared to go quiet, however it seems that Mauriss may now be willing to step up with an offer of his own.

Mauriss' interest is thought to be genuine, with Mike Ashley said to be considering his interest.

However according to The Mirror, the Sports Direct mogul will give Mauriss until August 14 to strike a deal for the club.

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That deadline has been set to ensure that Newcastle United have clarity ahead of the new Premier League season, however it's also claimed that a deal could be agreed 'in the coming days'.

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

I can hardly keep up with the twists and turns in this story.

With supporters on their knees after the heartbreaking collapse of the PIF takeover earlier this week, it seems that there's now a glimmer of hope.

Henry Mauriss is a name that's been floating about for several weeks, and if these reports are to be believed then he could be the saviour.

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That said, we know precious little about the American mogul - something which doesn't seem to be sitting well with the Newcastle United fans at present.

If a deal can be struck, it'll be interesting to see how fans will respond to Mauriss - as to say they had their hearts on the Saudi-backed consortium completing a deal is an understatement.

However if the American mogul does complete a deal to buy the club from Mike Ashley then I'm sure that supporters will be firmly in his corner.

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