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Mike Ashley hit pause on major spending in big takeover hint

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Mike Ashley is running the clock down on his time at Newcastle United.

The Sports Direct magnate is still in the United States but is believed to be making minor decisions from his base in Miami through close aide Justin Barnes.

Indeed, as some contracts head closer to their expiry dates, such as Andy Carroll, Javier Manquillo and Rob Elliot, Ashley appears to have opted for delaying tactics to avoid signing off fresh multi-millon pound deals.

This should be classed as a positive sign with Ashley's business interests now lying elsewhere after he accepted his painful run at St James' Park was coming to an end.

Youngster Matty Longstaff is another who will see his current arrangement expire at the end of next month with clubs in Europe interested in signing the midfielder next term.

But the players could have to wait for the new regime to get behind their desks before learning of their fate.

Carroll's situation is an interesting one as the striker needed a certain amount of matches to trigger a one-year extension.

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However due to the virus pandemic, Carroll has been unable to add to his appearance tally of 14 games this term.

The Magpies though have had the option to extend his deal without the caveat of appearances and Carroll was supposed to be informed by Newcastle on May 16.

A window for a decision on Carroll's long-term future has now been extended until late June.

The 31-year-old is keen to extend his stay on Tyneside after returning to the club last summer.

Like the supporters, though, the United squad are playing the waiting game when it comes to new owners.

The Chronicle reported this week that the majority of the owner's and director's test is now done and there have been no red flags despite further opposition to the Middle East consortium this week.

Amanda Staveley, the Reuben brothers and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund are hoping for the green light from the Premier League.

After that top-flight bosses will leave the announcement in the hands of Toon chiefs to deliver the news fans have been praying for throughout the UK's lockdown.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino has been asked by Sky Sports about rumours linking him with Newcastle under potential new ownership.

He said: "There are two things that are most important - one is the people, the fans that are behind every club.

"That is the structure that keeps alive all the companies that provide entertainment that is football.

"The other is the ideas of the clubs.

"Every single club and company have different cultures, different philosophies, different ways of working.

"They all have different plans for success.

"To be successful at one club you need to win the Champions League or Premier League, but for others it is to finish in the top four or six."

Speaking to the Chronicle about possible changes at Newcastle, Steve Bruce said on Thursday: "If - if - it goes through let's see what happens after that.

"I am aware of all the speculation going on and people are hovering over my job. But I get on with it until I know different.

"That has always been the case with me."




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