Middle East sources confident on takeover: NUFC evening update

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The proposed takeover of Newcastle United has passed the latest round of the Premier League’s owner’s and director’s test.

Elsewhere, Magpies head coach Steve Bruce has addressed the takeover speculation over his future for the first time.

Here are your top Newcastle United stories for May 21:

Takeover latest

Newcastle United’s takeover proposal has made it through the latest round of the Premier League’s owner’s and director’s test with no complications.

Chronicle Live understands that the thorough examination of the takeover approach by Amanda Staveley, the Reuben brothers and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is now in the final stages and there have been no hiccups.

Mike Ashley, Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Amanda Staveley
Mike Ashley, Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Amanda Staveley

The good news for United fans is that the process remains on course for the Magpies to have a new owner and there have been no red flags – despite talk of fresh opposition from other top-flight clubs and further complaints about the deal.

Sources in the Middle East are now suggesting there is a real air of confidence that the takeover will have the result Geordie fans are praying for.

Bruce on takeover rumours

Steve Bruce admits he has no choice but to get on with his job at Newcastle United – despite the air of uncertainty at St James’ Park.

Middle East takeover talk has been rife on Tyneside since the country went into lockdown with the story dominating the headlines.

Steve Bruce and Amanda Staveley
Steve Bruce and Amanda Staveley

Bruce has guided Newcastle to a steady position in the Premier League and the club have stayed out of the bottom three since October.

Rivaldo’s advice for Bale

Brazil great Rivaldo believes Gareth Bale should accept an offer from Newcastle United this summer.

The Real Madrid star has been linked with a move to St James’ Park as part of the current takeover.

Bale came close to completing a move to Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning last summer, only for Real to pull the plug on the deal at the last minute.

Gareth Bale of Real Madrid (Image: ( Alejandro/DeFodi Images via Getty Images))

But it now appears that he could once again be heading for the exit this summer, having fallen out of favour with Zinedine Zidane this season.

And Rivaldo believes that Bale should reject any advances from sides in the MLS this summer and look at accepting an offer from the Magpies as he would be able to regain his “superstar status” at St James’ Park.

Barton on global saga

Warren Barton says that Newcastle United’s takeover saga has turned into a global media story this summer.

Former Newcastle defender Warren Barton
Former Newcastle defender Warren Barton

The former Toon right-back – now a pundit with Fox Sports – is hoping that the deal goes through and Amanda Staveley, the Reuben brothers and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will get the news they are waiting for from the Premier League.

The Premier League are in the latter stages of the owner’s and director’s test.

FA Cup hope

Newcastle United have been handed a huge FA Cup boost as the Football Association remains committed to completing the final three rounds.

The Magpies reached the quarter final for the first time in the Mike Ashley era, and were due to host Premier League champions Manchester City in the televised late kick-off on March 21.

However, the future of this year’s competition remains uncertain following the suspension of the professional game due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

United players returned to training this week as part of Project Restart’s phased approach with a tentative June return mooted for the Premier League.

Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his team's third goal as the Oxford United players react
Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal as the Oxford United players react (Image: Getty Images)

With the Magpies comfortably sat in mid-table, the question for the majority of fans has been whether silverware remains a prospect when the season returns.

The FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, is understood to have told FA Council members at a meeting on Thursday that the intention remains to wrap up the knockout competition alongside Premier League action.

No training complications

Steve Bruce has revealed that Newcastle United got through their return to first-team training without any complications – but they must remain vigilant ahead of Project Restart.

Newcastle United Training Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Image: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

After two months without a game, Bruce knows that top-flight clubs face a race against time to be fit for a potential mid-June restart.

Players returned to train in small groups at Benton yesterday and face a further round of testing for Covid-19 before getting back to work this morning.

Memories of Speed

Thousands of Newcastle United fans got their football fix last Saturday, but not from tuning in to the Revierderby. Instead, these supporters relived the Magpies’ 8-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday, which was streamed ‘live’ on the club’s YouTube channel.

Among those rewatching Sir Bobby Robson’s first home game in charge were Rob Lee and Warren Barton who, of course, both played at St James’ Park on that glorious afternoon in September, 1999.

The late Gary Speed with his former Newcastle United team-mates Warren Barton, Shay Given, Rob Lee and Alan Shearer
The late Gary Speed with his former Newcastle United team-mates Warren Barton, Shay Given, Rob Lee and Alan Shearer

They may now live thousands of miles apart – Barton is based in San Diego in the States – but these friends still reminisce about their time together on Tyneside. On and off the field, they shared special moments and met people they will never forget, such as the late Gary Speed.

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, there was something poignant about seeing Speed, in his heyday, leaping above his marker, as he so often did, to head home from a corner against Wednesday.

That goal, Newcastle’s sixth of the afternoon, brought back fond memories for supporters and former team-mates alike but it also served as a sobering reminder that Speed is no longer with us after he took his own life in 2011.

Given’s gesture

Shay Given has paid tribute to the ‘heroes on the frontline’ fighting coronavirus – and the charity the Newcastle United hero has helped to set up has already raised enough money to supply the equivalent of more than 22,000 masks.

CareGiven was launched by the Irishman and friend Rob Noble last month after they were moved to act amid the well-publicised shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for key workers.

Shay Given has helped to launch CareGiven to supply PPE to NHS staff on the frontline and key workers
Shay Given has helped to launch CareGiven to supply PPE to NHS staff on the frontline and key workers

A supply chain has been established by the not-for-profit fund-raising operations with factories authorised to produce PPE for the NHS. Frontline, a crowd-sourced online map, which has up to date information on hospitals and workplaces experiencing shortages, then ensures the equipment is distributed to where it is needed the most.

Given hopes that the PPE batches will now start reaching key workers in hospitals in the next week or so.

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