NEWCASTLE are close to being taken over by Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners.
Sky Sports claim an increased offer of around £300m has been submitted.
It’s suggested Ashley and Staveley held talks last week to discuss her initial offer of around £250m.
Reports earlier this week suggested Rafa Benitez has told Ashley he has until Friday to give him a New Year transfer budget.
The Spaniard has reportedly slapped down the ultimatum as he looks to steer the Toon away from trouble.
The Magpies lock horns with a rejuvenated Everton tonight having picked up just one point out of the last 21.
Their shocking form leave the Toon hovering precariously close to the drop zone.
Newcastle’s protracted takeover saga which has coincided with their slump.
Benitez, however, denies uncertainty over the club’s future has been detrimental to his players.
“The reality is that we are not winning but I do not think it is because of that,” he said.
“If we beat Everton, everybody will say it is not affecting things.”