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Mike Ashley preparing for £50m takeover of Derby County

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Credit: CameraSport via Getty Images - Mike Ashley makes £50m offer for Derby County

Ex Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is in advanced talks with Derby’s administrators over becoming the clubs new owner and his bid will be the largest received so far.

If successful, Ashley is expected to buy Pride Park Stadium from former owner Mel Morris and plans to takeover all affairs at the club after it went into administration back in September.

The Rams have been deducted a total of 21 points in the 2021/2022 season, having been given a further nine point penalty in November, which means their chances of surviving relegation seem extremely unlikely. However, the current situation at the club seems be rallying the whole squad who are determined to defy the odds and remain a Championship side next season.

Ashley’s Sports Direct company has a large distribution centre based on the Pride Park industrial estate, which sits on the periphery of the stadium grounds.

It would be the return of Mike Ashley to English football after he sold Newcastle United to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for £300million, following his 14-year stewardship. His time on Tyneside was disastrous for the football club and supporters, who were glad to see the back of the London-based businessman. Ashley failed to understand the area and what football meant to the people of Newcastle – he had no interest in what was good for the club.

Derby County are currently bottom of the table with 11 points but have found some fine form under boss Wayne Rooney, unbeaten in their last four league games and winning two without conceding a goal. They rescued a point in dramatic style last time out in the Championship with two goals in the last five minutes from Kazim-Richards and Curtis Davis to make it 2-2 at Reading.

Mike Ashley’s £50m valuation is set to be the highest received by the Administrators, Quantuma and is thought to be substantially more than the offer from General Sports Worldwide which includes former Derby chairman Andrew Appleby, former chief executive Sam Rush and Wolves’ former CEO Jez Moxey.

Adam Bate wrote a feature for Sky Sports back in October following the departure of Ashley from Newcastle: 

‘Icons were alienated, interlopers overpromoted. Money was spent sporadically and begrudgingly, the investment intermittent and haphazard. Strategy was absent. When it did emerge it was about no more than ticking over. Nobody could mistake it for ambition.

‘Under Ashley, this became a zombie club, an illusion of life.’

This short extract perfectly sums up his time at the Magpies, however as Derby are in administration, it’s likely Ashely will become owner if his bid for the club remains the highest.

 

 

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Newcastle target rejects Everton move following £45m bid.

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Newcastle united - St James Park

Everton have made a £40million bid with £5m in add-ons to sign Connor Gallagher from Chelsea.

This comes after Newcastle completed the signing of Anthony Gordon, the club’s second most expensive transfer behind Alexander Isak.

Everton received an initial fee of £40m plus add-ons that could increase the deal to £45m.

The Toffees currently sit 19th in the Premier League and are looking to reinvest the money from the Gordon deal to sign much-needed players under newly appointed manager Sean Dyche. 

But, multiple sources have reported today that Gallagher is not actively pushing for a move and has no intention of going to Goodison Park. However, with Chelsea having met the record-breaking €120m release clause for World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, Gallagher may be forced to leave the club if the transfer is complete.

This leaves Newcastle an option as the player would prefer a move to a top-six club.

This morning, Eddie Howe said, “We’ll see what we can do to try & bring a player in. There’s no guarantees. In terms of permanent signings, it will be very difficult. We’ll look at a potential loan. But it’s got to be the right player & not one for the sake of it”.

Due to financial fair play, the only way Newcastle could sign the player is through a loan, with an obligation to buy the player for at least £45m, the same price they paid for Anthony Gordon.

Gallagher has been playing regular Premier League football over the last two seasons. Since returning to his parent club Chelsea, the 22-year-old has been linked with a move away to numerous Premier League clubs.

Last season he was named Crystal Palace’s Player of the Season by their fans. He also won the Player of the Month award twice, Goal of the Month once, and was awarded the Young Player of Year at the 2022 London Football Awards.

In the same season, he made 36 appearances scoring eight goals and registering three assists that earned Palace a 12th-place finish, one point behind Newcastle.

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Transfer News: Newcastle Sign Everton Winger Anthony Gordon In 45m Deal

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Newcastle agree deal for Gordon

Newcastle United have agreed to sign Everton winger Anthony Gordon for an initial fee of £40,000,000, which could rise to £45,000,000 with add-ons

Sky Sports understands that personal terms between Newcastle United and Gordan’s representatives are still ongoing, but both parties are confident of reaching an agreement.

The Magpies’ were interested in bringing Gordon to St James’ Park in the summer. However, both clubs were far apart on valuations for the player.

The 21-year-old has failed to attend training at Finch Farm for the last three days after making it clear he wants to move away from Goodison Park.

Chelsea were interested in bringing Gordon to Stamford Bridge in the summer and were willing to pay up to £60,000,000 for the wide-man’s services. However, Everton were reluctant to let their talisman leave before the start of the 2022/2023 Premier League season.

Gordon has scored just 3 goals in 16 Premier League appearances (12 starts) this season for the struggling Toffees, who currently sit second bottom of the table.

That said, the former Preston North End loanee had his best campaign last season, playing a major part in Everton’s Premier League survival.

The Everton academy graduate had 6 goal involvements in 35 Premier League games (25 starts) last season, which was the first season he had a consistent run of games.

It’s clear that Gordon has a significant amount of potential, and with Eddie Howe at the helm, Newcastle could be getting a very exciting player.

We have seen an unbelievable transformation in many players’ performances since Eddie Howe took charge in November 2021, with the most obvious transformation being Joelinton’s positional change.

The Liverpool-born winger can play in several forward positions, which is the type of player Eddie Howe has been keen to add during the January window, especially after Chris Wood’s loan departure to Nottingham Forest.

Joelinton is currently being deployed as a left-winger, with Allan Saint-Maximin in the process of regaining match fitness.

The addition of Gordon could see Joelinton be moved back to his preferred position as a box-to-box midfielder. This would see one of Sean Longstaff or Joe Willock drop out of the eleven, with Bruno Guimarães making that number 6 role untouchable.

Four days remain of the January transfer window, and it is yet to be seen if Anthony Gordon is the only player The Toon are adding to their ranks.

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Gary Lineker shocked as ‘adult noices played on BBC Live on air!

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Gary Lineker - BBC one Live
Credit: BBC

Viewers on Tuesday night prior to the FA cup football games were left shocked and confused as noises of an adult nature were played in the BBC studio – Live on air!

 

Gary Lineker reacted fast to try to address and cover up the noise before going live to Alan Shearer.

 

See the clip below…

 

 

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