Newcastle United are facing a summer like no other.
Unfortunately for them, it's not the pre-season break that they wished for only a matter of weeks ago.
Dreamers on Tyneside hoped that the club would be among the richest in England at this stage, with Amanda Staveley and the Saudi-backed consortium's £300million takeover on the table.
Everyone wanted it to go through - at least that was the case until the Premier League's owners' and directors' test.
After a 17-week delay the buying party decided that enough was enough and opted to withdraw their offer, citing 'the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty' as the reason behind their decision.
But while speculation continues over what's next for the takeover, Newcastle have more urgent matters to deal with.
In less than five weeks' time the club with start their Premier League campaign.
After finishing in mid-table last term Steve Bruce will be determined to strengthen his squad as he looks to take the Magpies to the next level.
But while additions are important, it's also key to keep hold of their star men.
Martin Dubravka and Allan Saint-Maximin are seen as two of Newcastle's most valuable assets, and according to Chris Waugh, it's only natural that the duo would be attracting interest.
Asked if the duo would attract interest, writing for The Athletic, Waugh said: "I would be surprised if they didn’t. Saint-Maximin’s form, in particular, has already led some agents to float his name around.
"However, Newcastle are adamant they do not want to sell their key players — Bruce insists he wants to bring in reinforcements of similar quality — but sizeable bids could test their resolve.
"The lack of disposable income around European football at the moment may deter potential suitors, though."
GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...
Newcastle United's supporters are not a happy bunch at present.
With the takeover blow fresh in their memories, fans are not feeling entirely optimistic as they prepare for the new season.
While several players have been linked with a move to the club, most supporters will be cautious until they see the players sign on the dotted line.
As for outgoing, the club are walking a fine line.
Many fans are already sceptical going into the new season and so the prospect of losing one of their key players is unthinkable.
Martin Dubravka is key, but in Allan Saint-Maximin they have a player who's capable of winning matches on his own.
After being linked with a move to Tottenham, the prospect of losing the winger would be a massive blow, and that's why fans will be praying that no bids come in for their star man this summer.
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