A financial firm headed by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley has tabled a formal takeover bid in the region of £300m for Newcastle United.
PCP Capital Partners has been in talks with club owner Mike Ashley for about a month, and a source close to the deal said an offer has now been made.
Newcastle are yet to comment publicly on the news, although a club source has disputed the value of the bid.
Ashley said on 16 October he wanted to sell after 10 years in charge.
He reportedly dropped the asking price to £380m in an attempt to complete a sale by the end of the year.
Ashley, 53, has been a divisive figure at St James’ Park since taking over in 2007, with some supporters regularly protesting about the way the businessman has run the club.
He bought Newcastle for £134.4m in 2007. Their latest accounts – up to 30 June 2016 and before the club’s relegation to the Championship – showed a profit of £900,000 and turnover of £126m in 2015-16.
Staveley helped broker the purchase of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour bin-Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2009, and it was reported she led Dubai International Capital’s £400m bid for Liverpool in 2008.
On the other hand, former Wales strikers Craig Bellamy and John Hartson say they would relish the chance to succeed Chris Coleman as manager of the national side.
After resigning from the post to become Sunderland boss, Coleman called for another Welshman to replace him.
“I’ll probably be interested for the rest of my life,” said Bellamy.
Bellamy and Hartson described themselves as “passionately Welsh”, with the former saying the job would be the “pinnacle” while allowing him to begin his managerial career.
Coleman’s late predecessor Gary Speed built his managerial reputation in the Wales job, as did Stoke City boss Mark Hughes.
Bellamy said: “It’s a good position so I’m sure there are going to be plenty of people interested in it – and rightly so – due to what the Welsh FA have put in place and the group of players you’d have to work with.
“Would it be realistic for me to go into a Premier League team? It wouldn’t be there due to where the Premier League’s gone to.
“I’m passionately Welsh. It’s the pinnacle for me and I would definitely always be interested in that job.”
Bellamy says the players Coleman has left behind “are the most successful in the history of Welsh football” having reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals.
He added: “I’ve worked with Wales’ younger age groups so I’ve got a good idea of the system that’s been put in place for producing young players.”
Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy celebrate as Wales beat Norway 4-1 in November, 2011
Bellamy also pointed to having played with many of the current squad, including Gareth Bale.
“I’ve played with them all and been through the hardest of times with this group of players so we know each other very well,” said Bellamy
“I respect a lot of them and it’s just a healthy position at this moment.
“From outside looking in, a good group of men and people that just see qualifying for the next tournament and the tournament after that as well.”