FULL STATEMENT FROM SHEIKH KHALED: 

“In response to the numerous reports in the world media this morning, we would like to comment as follows: We can confirm that representatives of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team, about the proposedacquisition of Newcastle United Football Club. We view it as an honour to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club. We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity.”

The Chronicle have confirmed with Newcastle United (okay, Lee Charnley) that the talks are genuine.

The S*n who first broke the story last night have provided a further update in which they have stated: Midhat Kidwai, Managing Director of the Bin Zayed Group, has revealed that Mike Ashley and the Group are “working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity”. I know, you just read that bit above but whey, we’re a bit excited and that.

I think we can now expect the contract talks with Rafa to be put on the back-burner until (and I can barely type the bloody words) the takeover is complete and he can start talking to some proper owners of Newcastle United and not a Div and a Spiv. But I think we can say, Rafa is going nowhere. There has been references form Abu Dhabi that the deal may even be completed this Friday

Without getting previous … Sheikh Khaled is buying a brilliant football club – a magnificent city-centre stadium, the best fan-base in world football and a world class manager. Newcastle United is the best club in Europe to buy given price and potential. Standby for take-off if this happens in the way we all dream about. .