RAFA BENITEZ’S departure may have cost Mike Ashley a potential buyer for Newcastle.
A new consortium was understood to be preparing to rival the Bin Zayed Group who announced last month that they had come to terms with owner Ashley.
The Arabs’ bid, led by Sheikh Khaled and revealed exclusively by Sun Sport, has not moved on.
A French group had been in the process of trying to move in instead but are now having second thoughts after Benitez walked away.
They believed that under the guidance of the Spaniard Newcastle were an attractive proposition.
But his contract expires today with Ashley searching for a new boss and possibly without an alternative offer for the club he is determined to sell.
Patrick Vieira is willing to speak to Ashley about the job and Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta, Rangers chief Steven Gerrard and Porto boss Sergio Conceicao are being considered.
Newcastle sounded out Nice boss Vieira, 43, in 2015 before they appointed Steve McClaren
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Vieira was then in charge of Man City’s Under-21s but has since gained managerial experience with New York City and now in Ligue 1
He led the French club to seventh place last season but gets very little interference from club chiefs.
Nice have made it clear they would battle to keep hold of the 43-year-old if the Toon put in an approach.
This post written by tgannon originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.