Nigerians bid for Newcastle

The Nigerian consortium hoping to buy Newcastle United has told the BBC that it has presented its bid to the club.

The Nigerian consortium hoping to buy Newcastle United has told the BBC that it has presented its bid to the club.

The group is one of several thought to be interested, but is the first to announce it has tabled an offer.

The man fronting the bid, UK-based businessman Chris Nathaniel, refused to confirm the size of the offer.

"We can't at this stage, that's confidential between ourselves and Newcastle, but a bid was put in on Friday evening," he said.

"There's been no timeline given by Newcastle but we hope it will be sometime soon."

Previous reports suggested the Nigerian group had raised £350 million (about R5,2 billion) and was looking to increase that figure.

Newcastle United's owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale in the wake of the sudden departure of former manager Kevin Keegan, but has insisted he will hold out for the right price.

But Nathaniel told the BBC's African sports programme Fast Track that the Nigerian group would not get involved in a bidding war.

"What they don't want to do is spend a load of money to buy the club and have no money to buy players and to work on what is quite a troubled infrastructure," Nathaniel said.

The identities of the people behind the deal remain a closely guarded secret, and Nathaniel said they wanted to remain anonymous until their bid is accepted.

A spokesman for Newcastle United said the club had no comment to make. - BBC

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