An exclusive late on Thursday afternoon has claimed that Mike Ashley has turned down approaches to buy Newcastle United in recent months.

The Telegraph state that ‘Chinese consortiums were at the front of the queues of potential buyers’.

With Chinese buyers taking over the likes of Aston Villa, West Brom, Wolves and Birmingham, with more widely reported to be in the pipeline, it is maybe an easy story for the Telegraph to run.

Even Sunderland have been the subject of speculation, with claims that owner Ellis Short had discussed a possible deal with a Chinese consortium earlier this year with a Chinese group, though nothing appears likely to come of that.

The Telegraph further report that Chinese buyers were supposedly circling St James Park because they understood Mike Ashley was willing to sell at a bargain price after relegation.

The newspaper saying though, unsurprisingly, that Mike Ashley had no interest in selling on the cheap.

With Newcastle massive favourites to bounce straight back to the ever increasing riches of the Premier League and vastly increased parachute payments significantly front-loaded in this first season down, you would surely have been amazed if Ashley would have contemplated selling for anything but a huge price.

On top of that you have the extra benefits the club give to the rest of his business empire, especially if making an instant return to the Premier League.

As to whether Newcastle fans are better off with the devil they know rather than the devil(s) they don’t, that is something which nobody has the answer to for sure.