Newcastle takeover news LIVE: Saudi deal has become ‘complicated’, Lascelles on Bale and Coutinho, Bruce on transfers – The Sun

NEWCASTLE UNITED fans are still waiting to see whether their mooted £300m takeover by a Amanda Staveley-led Saudi Arabian consortium will go through.

And they have received a big boost with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss saying the government will not block the deal.

Follow ALL of the latest updates right here…

  • THE EIGHT IS OVER

    Alan Pardew’s bumper eight-year contract at Newcastle has finally expired today – over FIVE YEARS since he left the club.

    The former Toon boss put pen to paper on the huge deal way back in 2012 but walked out the door barely two years later.

    He arrived at St James' Park in 2010 after Chris Hughton was shockingly given the boot despite leading the Geordies back into the Premier League from the Championship.

    Pardew was initially a big hit in the North East, guiding Newcastle to fifth in the Premier League in the 2011/12 season.

    After guiding the Magpies to Europa League qualification, he was duly rewarded with the Premier League Manager of the Season and LMA Manager of the Year gongs.

    Toon supremo Mike Ashley was impressed enough to offer him new and improved terms, despite the fact Pardew still had four years left on his original deal, then Pardew quit in 2014.

  • 'NO PRESSURE FROM NO10'

    Richard Masters has also denied the British government have put any pressure on the Premier League to block Newcastle’s takeover.

    After months of delays over the announcement, he said: “There is no timetable set as part of the rules.

    “Some takeovers are straightforward, others are not.

    “I would like the process to conclude shortly.

    “During my time at the Premier League, I'm not aware of the government placing any pressure on the Premier League one way or the other in relation to any takeover.”

  • IT'S COMPLICATED

    Premier League chief exec Richard Masters admitted that the £300m Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle has become “complicated”, reports OSCAR PAUL.

    After a deal was struck with Mike Ashley, the Prem are yet to make a decision after scrutinising the deal for 13 weeks.

    Masters said: “I do appreciate that uncertainty, I cannot comment in terms of timing or the specifics on any particular takeover but in a perfect world, takeovers would happen cleanly, clearly and in a timely fashion. Sometimes, things get complicated.

    “When they drag on, sometimes there's a requirement for information.

    “It's a relatively rare occurrence.

    “I think it's very difficult to keep a constant dialogue with fans about what's an entirely confidential process.

    “There are legal requirements in place that need to be observed.”

  • WOUT ABOUT THAT

    Arsenal and Newcastle will lock horns in a battle to land towering Dutch striker Wout Weghorst, according to reports.

    The 6ft 5inch frontman is braced to leave Wolfsburg after scoring 16 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances.

    Weghorst, 27, has scored an impressive 16 goals or more in each of his last four seasons for the German side and AZ Alkmaar.

    With a contract until 2023, Wolfsburg will look in the region of £32million to let him leave.

    According to Bild, his availability could spark a transfer tug-of-war between the two Premier League sides as they both eye summer deals for a new striker.

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is looking to bolster his strikeforce particularly with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang expected to leave.

    The fee won't be a problem for Newcastle who are expected to splash plenty of cash once their £300million takeover bid goes through.

  • GOOD MORNING NEWCASTLE FANS,

    Takeover decision this week?

    This might just be the week when it happens….

    Newcastle's takeover could finally be resolved in days, with reports that the Premier League are close to making a statement on the planned £300million Saudi-led deal fronted by Amanda Staveley

    The Mail suggest growing involvement from the British government indicates an imminent verdict– and the go-ahead –as they want to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia.

    The Official Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property has promised to close websites behind illegal streaming – which was reportedly costing the Prem, FA and a string of other football organisations millions in TV revenue.

    And their country's Football Federation has accepted it has a “responsibility” to fight piracy.

    Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund want an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle, with Staveley and the Reuben brothers taking 10 per cent apiece.

    Meanwhile, Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorstis said to be “top” of Newcastle's summer transfer wishlist.

    Bild say the Bundesliga club would listen to offers upwards of £32million for the Holland star, 27

    The Magpies are also understood to have stepped up their attempts to keep much-wanted midfielder Matty Longstaff – by matching terms offered by Udinese.

    And Montpellier winger Thomas Robert could land the chance to emulate dad Laurent's legendary Newcastle career.

    Prem clubs are joining teams in the Bundesliga and Scottish Premiership, plus French sides Nice and Rennes, in eyeing the 19-year-old.

    Robert has rejected a new contract so he can leave on a free transfer in a bid for more starts.

  • DELAY ''NOT HEALTHY'

    With rising hope that the Premier League could be close to a decision on Newcastle's takeover, manager Steve Bruce has admitted he wants “clarity” over the proposed Saudi-backed takeover.

    The current Toon boss says the delay in approving the deal is “not healthy for anybody”.

    He said: “The Premier League have got to come and make a decision.”

    Bruce also said the club cannot use uncertainty over the future as an excuse for any poor performances.

    Newcastle exited the FA Cup at the hands of Man City on Sunday, losing 2-0.

  • TAKEOVER DECISION THIS WEEK?

    Newcastle's takeover could finally be resolved this week, reports tonight suggest.

    The Mail say the Premier League are close to making a statement, with a go-ahead expected for a £300million Saudi-led deal fronted by Amanda Staveley

    Sources reportedly say the British government has become more involved – making the green light even likelier as they want to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia.

    A big step forward was the Official Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property reportedly saying it will close websites behind illegal streaming.

    And their Football Federation has accepted it has a “responsibility”to fight piracy.

    Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund want an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle, with Staveley and the Reuben brothers taking 10 per cent apiece.

  • TOON'S THE DADDY

    Montpellier teenager Thomas Robert could land the chance to emulate dad Laurent's legendary Newcastle career.

    The Magpies are among the winger's Premier League admirers after he rejected a new contract so he could move for free in a bid for more starts.

    The Mail say Bundesliga and Scottish Premiership clubs, plus French sides Nice and Rennes, are also keen on the 19-year-old.

    Robert Senior won nine France caps, also as a wideman, spending five years apiece with his first club Montpellier and Newcastle.

  • GET WOUT CLAUSE

    Newcastle have Wolfsburg ace Wout Weghorst at “the top of their wishlist” for the summer window.

    German outled Bild suggest the Bundesliga striker is the Toon's No1 priority.

    And that he will be available for offers of £32million and above.

    The 27-year-old Dutch striker has bagged 16 league goals this campaign.

  • LONG IN THE TOOTH

    Newcastle have reportedly made another offer to try and keep hold of Matty Longstaff.

    The Toon have matched the terms offered to the young Geordie by Italian side Udinese, according to TuttoUdinese.

    They suggest the Serie A outfit have backed out of a deal after Newcastle offered the same package.

    Longstaff is believed to want to stay and could be set to sign after boss Steve Bruce publicly revealed the ball was in his court.

  • RUNS IN THE FAMILY

    Newcastle are weighing up a free move for Montpellier forward Thomas Robert – the son of former Toon star Laurent.

    Thomas's father Laurent Robert starred at Newcastle between 2001 and 2005.

    Robert junior turned down a new three-year deal at Montpellier.

    He is available to anyone who wants him for free.

    The 19-year-old can play on both flanks or as a No 10, his versatility making him an attractive proposition.

    Nice and Rennes have made him offers to stay in France but a final decision on his future is yet to be made.

  • BRUCE WANTS CLARITY

    Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce wants “clarity” from the Premier League on the proposed Saudi-backed takeover.

    The current Toon boss says the delay in approving the deal is “not healthy for anybody”.

    He said: “The Premier League have got to come and make a decision.”

    Bruce also said the club cannot use uncertainty over the future as an excuse for any poor performances.

    Newcastle exited the FA Cup at the hands of Man City yesterday, losing 2-0.

  • BRUCEY BONUS

    Steve Bruce was joking around after his Newcastle side were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester City yesterday.

    He hijacked a City interview for an “exclusive”… Kevin De Bruyne has had enough of the Etihad and is going to join the Toon.

    Bruce joked: “He's going to stay here, come here – that's an exclusive out of Newcastle tonight.

    “He's had enough of Manchester City and he's going to come and play for Newcastle.”

    Well, if the £300m takeover goes through and City are banned from the Champions League…

  • MARK MY WORDS

    Newcastle United have signed ex-Carlisle United and Walsall goalkeeper Mark Gillespie on a free transfer.

    Gillespie, 28, started his career at Newcastle but left at 16.

    He has been plying his trade for Motherwell in recent years.

    Steve Bruce said of the deal: “The deal has been signed in the last 24 hours. We’re delighted to have him onboard.

    “It just goes to show, he went away as a youngster and played games and now we welcome him back.”

  • GET IT AL DONE

    Alan Shearer has urged the Premier League to make a decision on Newcastle's takeover.

    The Toon legend was speaking during BBC1's FA Cup coverage.

    He said: “Something has to happen – good news or bad news – because Newcastle are in limbo, they can’t plan for next season.

    “I think I would like to see it happen. It’s been going on for such a long time, they need an answer.”

  • GOOD MORNING TOON FANS,

    Manchester City breezed into the FA Cup semi-finals to face Arsenal after outclassing Newcastle.

    Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, from the penalty spot, and a beautiful finish from Raheem Sterling sent the Toon crashing out of the competition.

    City, who will face Arsenal in the last four as derby rivals Manchester United meet Chelsea, won at a canter having enjoyed significantly in excess of 80 per cent possession in the first half.

    The Magpies' 65-year wait for a domestic trophy goes on, and they were no match for City's speed of thought, movement and execution.

    While Steve Bruce has begged the Premier League to make a decision on the £300million Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle

    “Like all of us we are still waiting,” he said.

    “I think all of us feel this decision has to be made. It just seems to have become tedious.

    “It's been going to be this week, it's going to be due in days, it's going to be in 48 hours.

    “We need the people who are making the decisions to make that decision. We need them to make it. And be quick about it.”

  • CITY SLICKERS

    Manchester City breezed into the FA Cup semi-finals to face Arsenal after outclassing Newcastle.

    Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, from the penalty spot, and a beautiful finish from Raheem Sterling provided City some joy in a difficult week.

    They were of course deposed as Premier League champions after losing to Chelsea – Liverpool sealing a well-deserved success.

    Today's 2-0 win at St James' Park was kind on Newcastle who were outclassed from start to finish.

    City, who will face Arsenal in the last four as derby rivals Manchester United meet Chelsea, won at a canter having enjoyed significantly in excess of 80 per cent possession in the first half.

    The Magpies' 65-year wait for a domestic trophy goes on, and they were no match for City's speed of thought, movement and execution.

  • FA CUP DRAW

    Newcastle will be rewarded with an FA Cup semi-final clash against Arsenal if they overturn their match against Manchester City.

    Steve Bruce's side are currently 1=0 down against Pep Guardiola's team and have less than 40 minutes to turn the tie around.

    Meanwhile, Manchester United will look to complete an unprecedented quadruple of victories over Chelsea after they were drawn against the Blues in the other semi-final.

  • HT: NEWCASTLE 0 – 1 MAN CITY

    Steve Bruce's side with work to do to keep their FA Cup dream alive after being dominated in the first-half by the visitors.

    But despite City having the lion's share of possession, Newcastle are only one behind heading into the break.

    Manquillo with a needless push on Jesus gave Kevin De Bruyne the opportunity to score from the penalty spot on his 29th birthday.

    You can keep up to date with all the action on our SunSport Live blog.

  • ALL YOU NEED IS LOV

    Liverpool have reportedly moved ahead of Manchester City in the race for Kalidou Koulibaly by offering Dejan Lovren as part of a transfer.

    Italian outlet Tuttosport claim the Reds believe they can get Napoli to lower their £90million asking price for the Senagalese by offering them the former Southampton defender.

    Croatian Lovren, 30, has made just 10 Premier League appearances for the champions this season and has a year remaining on his contract at Anfield.

    Further competition is likely should Koulibaly become available for a lower fee, particularly from Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

    There is even talk of Newcastle launching a bid if their Saudi Arabian-led takeover is completed in time.

  • TIME TO BALE OUT

    Gareth Bale's Real Madrid future is once again in doubt amid reports of the player's deteriorating relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane.

    The pair have a rocky history and Zidane tried to sell the Welshman at all costs last summer.

    A move to China was halted by the club and Bale has remained a fringe player in Real's title challenge so far this campaign.

    According to ESPN, the reported Newcastle target situation has managed to worsen with their working relationship “at breaking point” and “worse than ever”.

    While putting on a brave face in public, Zidane and his coaching staff are described as dismayed at Bale's reaction to being dropped.

    The 30-year-old, still under contract for two more years, hasn't scored in LaLiga since September 1 but can count only one start since football's restart.

  • FOR PETE'S SAKE

    Former Liverpool and Tottenham striker Peter Crouch has revealed he wants Newcastle to win the FA Cup this season.

    Writing in his Daily Mail column ahead of the Magpies' quarter-final clash against Man City, he said: “The best game is in Newcastle.

    “Obviously, Manchester City are favourites to go through, but I really hope the home team win and I would love Steve Bruce to lift a trophy this season.

    “He has done an excellent job in the hardest possible circumstances and it’s just a pity that Newcastle won’t have a full house roaring them on.

    “If you think the celebrations in Liverpool were huge this week, imagine what it would be like if Newcastle win a trophy?”

  • MIKE CASHLEY

  • MAX POWER

    Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin has stressed the club have to believe they can beat Man City in the FA Cup quarter-final later today.

    Speaking in the official matchday programme, he said: “It’s a big game, and hard work.

    “If you remember, we won 3-2 against Oxford – a really, really difficult game – and after we won 3-2 against West Brom – again, it was a really, really difficult game.

    “We know we’ve done a lot of work to be in this position and play against Manchester City, and we know we are playing against a really big team.

    “We have to keep going and know we can do something. We have to do everything for the win; we can’t think: ‘It’s Manchester City, and it’s normal if they win.’ No. We have to do everything.”

  • PARK IT IN

    Man City star Kevin De Bruyne has spoke of the difficulty of playing at St James' Park.

    Speaking to Football Focus, he said: “It is always tough to play there.

    “I think they have a good team, they have a good structure and they know what they are doing as a team and they have some good forward players.

    “They are really dangerous on the break and they have a lot of pace so it is going to be a hard game.

    “It is a cup game and it is all or nothing so we are going to try and win the game on Sunday.

    “We need to recover real quick and be ready for it on Sunday.”

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