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Mike Ashley to sell Newcastle to Arab billionaire for $445m

Salomon Rondon of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on 4 May 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. [Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images]
Salomon Rondon of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on 4 May 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. [Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images]

Mike Ashley has agreed to sell Newcastle United to Abu Dhabi’s billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan for 350 million pounds ($445.24 million), the Sun and Reuters reported late on Sunday.

The contracts between Ashley and Sheikh Khaled have been signed and submitted to the Premier League, according to the report.

Ashley, who bought a controlling stake in the Premier League club in 2007, has in the past tried to sell the club.

Ashley, who owns British sportswear retailer Sports Direct International Plc said last October that he had not received any acceptable offers for Newcastle, a year after he officially put the club up for sale, but told Sky News in December that talks on a deal had made promising progress.

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Any potential buyer of the club must be able to provide transfer funds, he had said at the time.

Sheikh Khaled, the cousin of Manchester City owner and Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, previously failed in his bid to buy Liverpool Football Club for 2 billion pounds last year, the Daily Mail has previously reported.

Sheikh Khaled is also the founder of Bin Zayed Group, a leading conglomerate with diverse business interests in the local and international markets.

Newcastle United, the Premier League and the Bin Zayed Group did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comments.

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