Mike Ashley to sell NUFC

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A statement from the club said the Magpies - who sit ninth in the Premier League - require a "clear direction" and a "path to a bright and successful future".

Now, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Andrew Henderson of Dentons, who is the lawyer for Ashley's company St James' Holdings, said there was a feeling that "all that can be done has been done" and that it may be time for a change going forward. When Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League at the end of that season, he attempted to sell the club again, abandoning his attempts to sell up for a second time several months later. "However, it is now a case of making sure the price is right for all parties".

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley says he doesn't have the financial might to compete with the likes of Manchester City in the Premier League transfer market.

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"To give an incoming owner the maximum possible flexibility to make meaningful investment in the club, including in its playing squad, the sale process will give interested parties the opportunity of deferring substantial payments". Ashley is looking both to maximise his return - he values the club at up to £450 million - and hurry the process along. "Clubs the size of Newcastle aren't bought and sold every day". "If that means additional funds being available in the short-term we would seek to accommodate that", Henderson added.

January 2008: Manager Sam Allardyce sacked and replaced by Kevin Keegan.

The news that Newcastle United is now formally up for sale will gladden the hearts of every member of the Toon Army.

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Those reports are likely to die down if new ownership is found for Newcastle, with Ashley looking to have a deal completed by Christmas and an nearly certain profit on the £134 million he paid for the club in 2007.

Fans will also celebrate the news as it logically increases the chances of popular manager Rafa Benitez staying for the long term.

And that's it. It all comes down to the price Ashley is willing to accept.

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