MIKE ASHLEY has agreed to sell Newcastle for 350 million pounds to the cousin of Sheikh Mansour, the Arab owner of Manchester City.

Sunsport It is known that contracts between Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan and Ashley have been signed and forwarded to the Premier League.

    Mike Ashley has agreed to sell Newcastle United for 350 million pounds

Getty Images – Getty

Mike Ashley has agreed to sell Newcastle United for 350 million pounds
    Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is the cousin of Man City's owner Sheikh Mansour
Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is the cousin of Man City's owner Sheikh Mansour

He is a senior member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and failed last year in a £ 2 billion acquisition of Liverpool.

Newcastle was the subject of earlier but unsuccessful takeover attempts by Amanda Staveley and Peter Kenyon.

But Ashley has now decided to end his 12 years control over Tyneside.

One of the first tasks of the sheikh will be to tie manager Rafa Benitez to a new contract.

He is ready to provide funds to bolster a squad that has made good on staying in the Premier League after years of underinvestment under Ashley.

Ashley put the club up for sale for the first time in 2008 after Kevin Keegan was sent off after a riot for transfers – this was the first of three attempts to get rid of the club.

Who is Sheikh Khaled?

SHEIKH Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is an Emirati family member who governs Abu Dhabi.

How did he earn his money?

He founded the Bin Zayed Group in 1988 and is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Gulf States.

Does he have a football connection?

THE Sheikh tried in August 2018 to take over Liverpool for two billion pounds. He is also the cousin of the owner of Manchester City, Sheikh Mansour – though not quite as rich.

And the Newcastle owner missed the chance to possibly sell to Sheikh Mansour after refusing to meet him in 2008 before taking on Manchester City.

It seems Ashley will not let the lightning strike twice with his cousin's group.

Shaikh Khaled, 61, is the president of the United Arab Emirates Sailing and Rowing Association, but has always been interested in football and loves the Premier League.

He is the founder of the Bin Zayed Group – a leading corporate group with diverse interests in local and international markets.

The main activities of the Bin Zayed Group comprise four business areas: Construction and Energy, Trade and Industry, Real Estate, Technology and Financial Services.

Newcastle fans are desperate for success – they have not won a major trophy since the Fairs Cup in 1969.

Ashley had a venomous relationship with the fans – not only annoying her for not having recruiting funds, but renaming her St James's Park, Sports Direct Stadium, for his sportswear company.

    One of the first tasks of the sheikh will be to bind Rafa Benitez to a new contract

EPA

One of the first tasks of the sheikh will be to bind Rafa Benitez to a new contract
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger offered Newcastle as Benitez replacement

,