January 19, 2018 / 10:18 AM / 3 months ago

Soccer: Staveley remains keen to buy Newcastle

(Reuters) - British businesswoman Amanda Staveley remains keen to buy Newcastle United despite no progress in takeover talks with owner Mike Ashley since an offer in November.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United vs Swansea City - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - January 13, 2018 Newcastle United's Mohamed Diame in action with Swansea City's Oliver McBurnie Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

Ashley put the club up for sale last October and PCP Capital Partners, an investment firm run by Staveley, made a bid of 250 million pounds ($348.38 million).

However, a source close to Ashley told Sky Sports earlier this week said the talks with PCP have proved to be “exhausting and a complete waste of time”.

“I’m very much still interested in buying Newcastle. And our bid remains on the table,” Staveley told the Times.

“I’m very concerned, I’m very surprised and I’m disappointed about what’s been said this week. The suggestion that we were either wasting time or not serious is absurd. It’s hurtful.

“This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment. Newcastle would be run as a business, but we want it to be a successful, thriving business that is an absolutely integral part of the city.”

Staveley’s bid hinges heavily on Spanish manager Rafa Benitez staying at the helm. The club are currently 15th in the league, with two victories in their last 14 matches.

However, Benitez was key to Newcastle’s swift return to top-flight football after their relegation in the 2015-16 season.

“Rafa is doing an incredible job. We want Rafa to be part of this project,” Staveley added.

($1 = 0.7176 pounds)

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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