Will Newcastle have a new owner by November? And how many players do they need to buy in January: Eleven?

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There’s a football club for sale in the north-east, but it remains unclear as to who the buyers are going to be, and when the transaction will take place. While Mike Ashley remains deeply unpopular with the fans following the departure of Kevin Keegan, it does appear as though the former has wiped away the club’s debts, giving whoever comes in a clean slate.

The Guardian reports that Newcastle fans should be encouraged by the words of Keith Harris this morning, one of the people responsible for sourcing and screening a new owner. He reckons that there’s been plenty of interest in the Magpies, and it’s possible that a new regime could be in place by the end of next month.

“We don’t have, and never have had, any deadlines by which time bids must be submitted but we do have a ‘hopeline’ for the sale of Newcastle,” said Harris yesterday. “Our wish is that something can be in place before November ends which would give the new owner time to appoint a manager and be in a position to make new signings when the January transfer window opens.”

“Things are very choppy in the financial world at the moment,” admitted Harris, who was given the job of selling the club by Mike Ashley, Newcastle’s owner, after the Sports Direct owner failed to find a buyer himself.

Harris has refused to divulge which consortium are in pole position to take over, although the new owners will have a job on their hands attracting the sort of player which will improve the squad at St James’ Park. While it’s too early to comment on whether Newcastle will be involved in a relegation dogfight, they’ve certainly given a few teams a headstart already this campaign, and supporters will be hoping that this doesn’t rumble on until Christmas.

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