Paul Merson has been having his say on the Newcastle United potential takeover.
Monday brought breaking news that the Amanda Staveley led bidders had offered ‘in the region of £300m’.
The following 36 hours have brought claim and counter claim as to how much has actually been offered, as well as clauses that may or not be part of that bid.
The two sides using friendly media to get their message out and there appears to be a significant gap between what is on the table at the moment and what Mike Ashley wants – but there has also been widespread reporting that the confidence is there that a settlement will eventually be reached.
Talking about the reported ‘£300m’ bid, Paul Merson says that if a takeover happens, you would need two things to then follow, if Newcastle want to be successful.
Merson says that the most immediate task is to persuade Rafa Benitez to stay ‘because he is probably in the top 10 in the world’.
Essential step number two would be then backing Rafa with ‘at least another £300m’ to use for transfers.
As for this season overall, Paul Merson thinks that Newcastle should have a real go at the FA Cup and says that unless you are a Mackem ‘who wouldn’t want to see Newcastle win the FA Cup this year?’.
Merson believes there is no chance of relegation (or top four), so Rafa Benitez should play his ‘strongest team all the time’.
Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:
“Buy the club for £300m?
“If you then want to be successful…
“One: You have got to keep the manager (Rafa Benitez) because he is probably in the top 10 in the world
“The other thing, you need at least another £300m (to back Rafa with new players)…at least £300m.
“I think Newcastle are a prime example for the FA Cup and I think that if you don’t support Sunderland, who wouldn’t want to see Newcastle win the FA Cup this year?
“Number one – Their supporters.
“Number two: They haven’t won anything for god knows how long.
“They are middle of the table and they are not getting relegated, they’re also not going to get in the top four, so they should play their strongest team all the time.”