Newcastle United Mike Ashley revealed Monday that he is in talks with at least one potential buyer regarding the sale of the club.
It is believed that Ashley will accept a £ 300 million bid for the sale of Newcastle and wants any sale to be completed before the January transfer window begins.
After 11 years of ownership by Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct said that the speeches were the most advanced they have ever been and although cynicism remains among the fans (we have been here before) there is a quiet optimism that it could mean the end of his tenure.
A name that continues to make the rounds for a possible sale is the American billionaire Arthur Blank.
Here's everything you need to know about the man associated with the purchase of Newcastle United.
Who is Arthur Blank?
The 76-year-old made his fortune as a co-founder of Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer.
Blank, alongside co-owner Bernard Marcus, has opened over 2,200 Home Depot stores across North America and the pair has become a billionaire following the company's success.
He retired from the company in 2001, when his investment in the most important sport was born.
In February 2002, Blank bought the NFL at the Atlanta Falcons and in 2004 also acquired the Arena Football League franchise, Georgia Force, transferring them to the city of Atlanta.
He remains the owner of the Falcons until today, although he has shown interest in other sports.
It was rumored to be in the running to buy MLB side Atlanta Braves but an agreement never materialized. However, he made the leap into football.
In 2017, he founded the MLS franchise Atlanta United, which boasts some of the best players in the division, including international team-mate Salomon Rondon Josef Martinez and Magpies as target Miguel Almiron, while they are run by the former head of Barcelona Gerard Martino.
In their second season, Atlanta reached the MLS Cup final, where they will face Portland Timbers on Sunday night.
Atlanta has attracted crowds of 55,000 fans in the MLS and may have whetted Blank's appetite when it comes to more investment in sports.
He would become the last of a long line of American magnates to invest in a Premier League club.
How much is it said that it is worth?
Forbes estimates that the wealth of Blank is around $ 4.6 billion. In 2012, he signed the Giving Pledge and pledged to donate more than half his wealth.
What do they say about him? Would it be suitable for Newcastle?
Blank's record at both Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United – both on and off the field – will appeal to Newcastle fans.
Atlanta United president Darren Eales is full of praise for Blank's work with the club, citing his preeminence, the ability to make the club immediately competitive in MLS, as well as his commitment to improve the fans' experience .
He told bizjournals.com: "If I look back at the success we had, Arthur (Blank), who is the owner, is at the center of everything because he is so busy with supporters and the city of Atlanta.
"Once the people knew that he was the owner, they knew that this would be a competitive team, that things would be done well and that things would be done with the front and center of the fan experience.
"The second thing that Arthur brought was his experience in business, particularly as a startup, which he did with The Home Depot.They brought from nothing to the largest retailer in the world.
"He understood, he understood that you will never have a second chance to launch a club, so Arthur gave the club both the time and its financial resources.
"He took me over 2.5 years before we took a kick so that he gave us the catwalk and the time to be able to build a club in the best way we could, both on and off the pitch.
"It really depends on Arthur and his vision that we can be where we are today."
Blank's basics also do a lot of work in the community, both through the Falcons and the United.
The Blank foundation has launched a project called "Westside Works", a long-term neighborhood-based program that focuses on creating professional training and job opportunities for residents.
He said: "We have been working in the Westside neighborhoods for many years.
"Building a new stadium is the relatively easy part of our overall project in that area, the biggest challenge is to have a positive and significant impact on the surrounding communities in the process." My family, along with the Falcons, feels the sense of responsibility of being part of that positive change ".
Given the excellent work already done by the Newcastle United Foundation, it seems that Blank would be ideal for continuing and improving this legacy.
How likely is it to take Newcastle United?
We understand that Ashley – through his lawyers – has held lengthy negotiations with two parties for the sale of Newcastle United.
Blank's name went round in connection with the sale of the club, but it was neither confirmed nor denied if it was one of the two parties that had talks with United.