Newcastle takeover LIVE: Premier League ‘fully considering’ calls to BLOCK move, fixtures LEAKED, Bin Salman deal LATEST – The Sun

NEWCASTLE fans are still nervously waiting to see if their £300m Saudi-led takeover goes ahead.

With under two weeks to go until the return of the Premier League, the Toon is still in limbo with Mohammad Bin Salman's group being assessed.

Follow all the latest updates from the North East below…

  • MORNING NEWCASTLE FANS

    The Premier League are reportedly “fully considering” calls to pull the plug on Newcastle's £300m takeover.

    Public Investment Fund and dealmaker Amanda Staveley were hoping to complete the deal that would finally see Mike Ashley relinquish control.

    But now, according to The Telegraph, Premier League executive Richard Masters has been contacted by lawyers representing the fiancee of murdered Jamal Khashoggi.

    Hatice Cengiz insists the deal, which would give the PIF an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle, is in breach of the PL’s owners’ and directors’ test.

    In other news, Newcastle have agreed to extend Valentino Lazaro’s loan.

    The Austrian midfielder, 24, can stay at St James’ until the end of the season.

    Lazaro is understood to be open-minded about a permanent move to the North East at the end of the season and it appears dialogue between the clubs is open on the matter.

    And finally, the Magpies' next four games have been leaked, with the club returning to action on June 21 where they will host Sheffield United.

    They then face Aston Villa at home on Wednesday, June 24, followed by their FA Cup quarter-final clash against Manchester City on June 28.

    Steve Bruce's men then travel to Bournemouth on Wednesday, July 1.

  • NEW PROBLEM

    The Premier League are reportedly “fully considering” calls to pull the plug on Newcastle's £300m takeover.

    Public Investment Fund and dealmaker Amanda Staveley were hoping to complete the deal that would finally see Mike Ashley relinquish control.

    But now, according to The Telegraph, Premier League executive Richard Masters has been contacted by lawyers representing the fiancee of murdered Jamal Khashoggi.

    Hatice Cengiz insists the deal, which would give the PIF an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle, is in breach of the PL’s owners’ and directors’ test.

    Journalist Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

    Independent investigators claim Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was directly involved — which he denies.

  • JUVE WORK TO DO

    Football fans are worried Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain has returned to Juventus training well-short of match fitness.

    The Serie A season will resume on June 20 after coronavirus halted match action.

    Higuain – a target for Newcastle – took part in a training session for Juve, who top the table by a single point to Lazio.

    But as photos of the former Chelsea striker were shared around social media, football fans were less-than complimentary about how the 32-year-old looked.

    One cruel comment was that he “looked like he had been on a diet of Dominoes” during the lockdown.

    John Mitchell posted that he had returned “looking like Tony Soprano”.

    Another wrote that he “was on lockdown socially distancing from healthy food”.

  • MAX POWER

  • FULL FIXTURE LIST

  • PREM FIXTURES LEAKED

    Newcastle will return to action by hosting Sheffield United on Sunday 21 June at 2pm, live on Sky Sports.

    The Magpies then host Aston Villa on Wednesday 24 June at 6pm, live on BT Sport.

    The following weekend they are in FA Cup quarter-final action against Manchester City, again at home on Sunday 28 June at 6pm on the BBC.

    Steve Bruce's men then travel to Bournemouth on Wednesday 1 July for a 6pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports.

  • IT'S TOTT IDEAL

    Daniel Levy has called for talks to find a way to get fans back into stadiums after Tottenham were forced to take a £175million loan from the Bank of England to deal with the crisis caused by Covid-19.

    Tottenham Hotspur Stadium limited has taken the finance available through the government’s CCFF Scheme to help the club through the financial turmoil caused by the global pandemic.

    But with social distancing measures likely to remain in place for months to come, the Spurs chairman says it is vital for live events industries to come up with a plan with the government which would ease the cash-crisis caused by playing in empty stadiums.

    Levy said: “We have always run this Club on a self-sustaining commercial basis. I said as early as 18 March that, in all my 20 years at the Club, there have been many hurdles along the way but none of this magnitude – the COVID-19 pandemic has shown itself to be the most serious of them all.

    “It is imperative that we now all work together – scientists, technologists, the Government and the live events sector – to find a safe way to bring spectators back to sport and entertainment venues.

    “Collectively we have the ability to support the development of new technologies to make this possible and to once again experience the passion of fans at live events.”

  • INJURY RATES SET TO SOAR

    Players may be at an increased risk of injury as professional sports rush back into action following the coronavirus stoppage, a global union representing 85,000 athletes said on Thursday.

    Some football leagues in particular have condensed a large number of fixtures into a short space of time in an attempt to complete the season.

    “Many players will not have had access to the necessary training methods to ensure that they have the necessary fitness and conditioning to compete,” said the World Players' Association (WPA), whose members play in the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, European soccer and Australian Rules football, among others.

    It added: “At the same time, many sports will be eager to make up for lost time and revenue which may result in compressed schedules and elevated demands on playing and training load.”

    WPA executive director Brendan Schwab pointed to a study conducted by Australian sports scientist Joel Mason last month which suggested an increased injury rate in the Bundesliga since Germany's professional soccer league restarted on May 16.

    According to the study, a pre-stoppage rate of 0.27 injuries per match this season climbed to 0.88 in the first round of matches following the restart.

  • DILLY DALLY

    Top flight clubs avoided a vote – but effectively kicked the can down the road – if a second wave of coronavirus kicks in, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    While there remains a split over what should happen if the season is “curtailed” by a second outbreak of Covid-19, the clubs opted to avoid a spat.

    And rather than pit the divisive issue to a vote, the teams took a position that it was not necessary to fight over a situation that may never actually arise.

    An agreement was reached that the debate will only be reopened if the season is forced into stopping for a second time.

    That avoided the faultlines between the clubs being further exposed.

    If the season cannot be finished, a points-per-game option is available, but clubs facing relegation are not keen on it.

  • PREM'S HIGH FIVE

    Premier League clubs have again put off a decision on what to do if the restarted League cannot be completed, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    In a surprise move, the clubs agreed that the issue will not discussed UNLESS it becomes necessary because of a second shut-down.

    But the clubs did vote to approve a vote urged by Chelsea which means managers will be able to make five substitutions for the rest of the season.

    And there was also approval for another Chelsea proposal for teams to put nine players on the bench for the final part of the campaign.

    The latest meeting of the 20 Shareholder clubs lasted just under three hours.

  • LOAN EXTENDED

    Newcastle have agreed to extend Valentino Lazaro’s loan.

    The Austrian midfielder, 24, can stay at St James’ until the end of the season.

    Lazaro is understood to be open-minded about a permanent move to the North East at the end of the season and it appears dialogue between the clubs is open on the matter.

    He scored in the Toon's FA Cup win over West Brom before lockdown.

  • GOALINTON

    Joelinton was firing in the players' training session today.

    The Brazilian looks sharp on the training pitch.

  • SING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING

    Premier League TV plans will include the option of fake crowd noise and could give fans rare dressing room access, according to reports.

    TV coverage is one of the items on the agenda at today's meeting between all 20 Premier League clubs.

    Sky are said to be one of the channels considering the move for the games that will be played behind closed doors from June 17, according to the Mirror.

    Supporters had the option to listen to fake crowd noise during recent Bundesliga matches and the feedback was mixed.

    Some fans got behind the idea but many said it was “too weird” and had to “mute the unnatural sound”.

    As a result, Sky could offer each game on two of their channels – one with crowd noise, and one without.

  • MORNING NEWCASTLE FANS

    Newcastle have been blasted for a “dereliction of duty” by their supporters’ trust after continuing to take season ticket money for next year.

    With the Saudi takeover in the hands of the Premier League, owner Mike Ashley has maintained a wall of silence over reimbursing supporters.

    Whereas other clubs acted quickly, Magpies supporters have not received refunds for games to be behind closed doors.

    And some have even had four direct debit payments taken for next season, despite not knowing if fans can attend.

    One man left in limbo by the potential takeover is on-loan winger Valentino Lazaro, who has been told by the club that they are “yet to decide” on whether they will sign him permanently, according to TuttoMercato.

    Steve Bruce's side can make the deal permanent for just shy of £20million – but may have to wait until their potential Saudi takeover goes through before making a decision.

    Meanwhile, Newcastle have offered contract rebel Matty Longstaff a new £20,000-a-week deal – 24 times his current pay – to snub Udinese, according to reports.

    The Italian side have offered the Toon midfielder, 20, a £30,000-a-week deal – a monster leap from his current £850 weekly pay packet.

    But Newcastle are hoping to keep their boyhood fan at St James' Park – despite offering £10,000-per-week less than Udinese.

  • LAZARO LIMBO

    Newcastle United have told on-loan winger Valentino Lazaro that they are “yet to decide” on whether they will sign him permanently, according to reports.

    Steve Bruce's side can make the deal permanent for just shy of £20million – but may have to wait until their potential Saudi takeover goes through before making a decision.

    According to TuttoMercato, the Magpies have explicitly told Lazaro and his entourage that they are yet to make their minds up on the 24-year-old's future.

  • ICYMI – FANS TICKED OFF

    Newcastle have been blasted for a “dereliction of duty” by their supporters’ trust after continuing to take season ticket money for next year, reports OSCAR PAUL.

    With the Saudi takeover in the hands of the Premier League, owner Mike Ashley has maintained a wall of silence over reimbursing supporters.

    Whereas other Prem clubs acted quickly, Magpies supporters have not received refunds for games to be behind closed doors.

    And some have even had four direct debit payments taken for next season, despite not knowing if fans can attend.

    In a letter written to MD Lee Charnley last week, the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust demanded confirmation of refunds for this campaign and season ticket payments for next to be paused.

    It said: “We understand the club finds itself in a complex situation in light of the prospective sale of the club by the incumbent owner.

    “That does not give you a legitimate right to a dereliction of duty to your supporters. Without supporters, Newcastle United does not exist.”

  • WAT ON EARTH?

    The Telegraph's Matty Longstaf report claims that he has been advised by former Great Britain hockey star dad, David Longstaff, to reject a new Newcastle deal and move to Italy.

    However, Longstaff could be back in England as early as January 2021, with Watford keen on the midfielder.

    The Hornets are affiliated with Udinese – both owned by the Pozzo family.

    The long-winded deal could be put in place to allow Watford to pay a lower compensation sum.

    Should Newcastle fail to tie Longstaff down to a new contract, Udinese will be able to sign the hot prospect for just £400,000 in compensation.

  • STAY TOONED

    Newcastle have offered contract rebel Matty Longstaff a new £20,000-a-week deal – 24 times his current pay – to snub Udinese, according to reports.

    The Italian side have offered the Toon midfielder, 20, a £30,000-a-week deal – a monster leap from his current £850 weekly pay packet.

    But Newcastle are hoping to keep the boyhood Geordie at St James' Park by offering £10,000-per-week less than Udinese.

    Toon chiefs had been offering the younger of the two Longstaff brothers around £15,000-a-week as they looked to tie him down for five more years.

    But Serie A side Udinese are said to have made an audacious effort to land the midfielder this summer – also offering a five-year deal.

    The Telegraph are now claiming Newcastle are willing to offer him “more than £20,000-a-week” in a bid to tempt him into staying in the North-East of England.

  • PREM CORONA SCARE

    One Premier League player has tested POSITIVE for coronavirus from one club, but they remain anonymous.

    The league said in a statement: “The Premier League can today confirm that on Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June, 1197 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, one has tested positive from one club.

    “Players or Club staff who test positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.

    “The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.

    “No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.”

  • MORE ON SEASON TICKETS

    The Supporters' Trust continued: “We have previously contacted Newcastle United to express our concerns at the lack of action by Newcastle United to assist its supporters in a time of need during this unprecedented global health and economic crisis.

    “You have called on the fans of Newcastle United for support so often over the years and when we called for you to stand by your supporters, you did nothing.

    “The majority of clubs have managed to find solutions to these ticketing issues and to offer support to their fans.

    “There is no obvious obstacle to Newcastle United doing the same.”

  • FANS TICKED OFF

    Newcastle have been blasted for a “dereliction of duty” by their supporters’ trust after continuing to take season ticket money for next year, reports OSCAR PAUL.

    With the Saudi takeover in the hands of the Premier League, owner Mike Ashley has maintained a wall of silence over reimbursing supporters.

    Whereas other Prem clubs acted quickly, Magpies supporters have not received refunds for games to be behind closed doors.

    And some have even had four direct debit payments taken for next season, despite not knowing if fans can attend.

    In a letter written to MD Lee Charnley last week, the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust demanded confirmation of refunds for this campaign and season ticket payments for next to be paused.

    It said: “We understand the club finds itself in a complex situation in light of the prospective sale of the club by the incumbent owner.

    “That does not give you a legitimate right to a dereliction of duty to your supporters. Without supporters, Newcastle United does not exist.”

  • PREM FIXTURES UPDATE

    The Premier League have not announced the dates and kick-off times of their fixtures because the broadcasters are scrambling to get their ducks in a row.

    Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon have all paid for rights and are set to broadcast live games, even thought the BBC only has a highlights package.

    But the four media bodies have to announce the fixtures at the same time.

    That means we won't hear about firm dates and kick-off times until potentially NEXT WEEK.

    Luckily we already know Manchester City are playing Arsenal on June 17, as well as Aston Villa vs Sheffield United

    For fans who have waited nearly three months to watch their team in some form or another, that doesn't leave much time to decide which beer, crisps and pizza to buy for their Premier League viewing.

  • VALUE FOR MONEY

    SunSport has collated the most-expensive players in football after the coronavirus crisis.

    Football has been hit severely, with some clubs paying their players in full, while others have reduced their wages.

    Here is how transfer values will look after the crisis.

  • BLACK LIVES MATTER

    Christian Atsu is clearly behind Newcastle's photo of the players taking a knee at training.

    View this post on Instagram

    @nufc #blacklivesmatter✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

    A post shared byChristian Atsu (@chris_atsu) on

  • PREM STREAMING ON AMAZON

    Amazon is set to stream live Premier League games, WITHOUT the need for a Prime membership.

    The online shopping giant-turn-video-service will broadcast 33 games for free in the UK.

    Great news for footie fans!

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