Newcastle takeover takes further twist after fresh move from Saudi consortium

Mike Ashley and Newcastle supporters are set for further takeover disappointment after the Amanda Staveley-led consortium which wanted to buy the Toon turned its attentions to Inter Milan.

Suning, the Chinese company which owns a majority stake in the Serie A leaders, is desperately trying to find a buyer for their club.

And after failing to land Newcastle last year, Staveley and her Saudi backers are now working on a deal for the Italian giants.

Ashley had hoped his agreement with Staveley’s consortium, which included the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and British property tycoons the Reuben brothers, David and Simon, could still be resurrected despite the withdrawal of their offer.

But confirmation of government interference last week is all but certain to bury that deal for ever.

The Saudis will now look to invest monies from their sovereign wealth fund into one of Italy’s most famous clubs, with electronics retailer Suning racing to find a buyer.

Inter, whose squad includes Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen, and who are managed by Antonio Conte, have been haemorrhaging money.

There are also suggestions that some of its players have agreed to defer payments.

The club are still flying at the top of Serie A, though, making them and their brand an attractive proposition.

Jiangsu FC, the club Suning owned in China, was abruptly shut down in February.

Saudi has courted Italian football for some time, with the kingdom becoming the sixth different country to host the Supercoppa Italiana, this time between Juventus and AC Milan, in 2019.

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