Whispers have been circulating ever since the Yorkshire-born businesswoman attended a match between the Magpies and Liverpool – another club she’s been linked with in the past – earlier this month.
A confidential source quoted by Reuters has today said that Staveley, through her PCP Capital Partners investment firm, is mulling a possible £304mln (US$400mln) bid for the club.
Eccentric billionaire Ashley, who officially put Newcastle up for sale earlier this week, is said to want nearer to £400mln (US$527mln).
PCP Capital acts on behalf of investors in the Middle East and China, where Staveley has a wide network of connections, and is one of four potential bidders for the club, according to the FT.
The investment firm is perhaps best known for its role in keeping Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) afloat during the 2008 financial crisis, when Staveley and co acted as an intermediary between the bank and a group of Abu Dhabi investors.
It is claimed that PCP values the Premier League outfit at around £300mln, with another £150mln or so needed to invest in new players over the next couple of years.
Newcastle haven’t commented specifically on this morning’s reports, but the club has made clear it would listen to offers that would be capable of “delivering sustained investment” and helping the team achieve their top-flight ambitions.
Newcastle have been relegated, and subsequently promoted, twice during Ashley’s ten-year reign.