Businesswoman Amanda Staveley is edging closer to becoming the new owner of Newcastle United, according to reports.
It is claimed that she has now signed a non-disclosure agreement with the club.
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are commonly signed when two companies or individuals are considering doing business and need to understand the processes used in each other's business for the purpose of evaluating the potential business relationship.
Who is Amanda Staveley?
Amanda Staveley played a key role in Sheikh Mansour's takeover of Manchester City in 2008.
She is said to control around £28b of Middle East money through PCP Capital Partners and is reportedly looking to invest in an English top-flight club.
She met club officials after attending the 1-1 Premier League draw with Liverpool at St James' Park on October 1st.
Mike Ashley is hoping it will be a case of third time lucky as he attempts to finally offload the club he brought for £134.4m in 2007, following his two unsuccessful previous attempts to sell up.
However, sources close to the Sports Direct businessman have insisted he will only do business with a buyer who is able fund significant spending in a way he admitted recently he cannot do.
As a result, there is no exact price tag, with speculation suggesting the current owner is looking for anywhere between £300m and £450m before relinquishing control.