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Anil Ambani in talks to buy Newcastle United: report

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Last updated on: August 03, 2008 20:05 IST

Indian business tycoon Anil Ambani is in talks to take English Premier League club Newcastle United, it was reported on Sunday.

British weekly newspaper News of the World said Ambani, the sixth richest man in the world, is already in negotiations with club owner Mike Ashley for a reported 260 million pounds (US $ 510 million) takeover.

But the chairman of Reliance Capital, Reliance Communication and Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Energy faces stiff battle from Singapore-based global investment company Profitable Group, which includes former England star Steve McMahon, as a director.

Both Reliance and Profitable are ready to pay 260 million pounds to own the Magpies outright and are determined to spend more than 100 million pounds on transfers to bolster the team, managed by Kevin Keegan, the newspaper further said.

Ashley bought Newcastle in July, 2007 for 130 million pounds and immediately pumped in another 80 million pounds to wipe out debts.

The newspaper says Ambani, who has a personal fortune of 21billion pounds, has been in negotiations with Ashley for several weeks, and has made it perfectly clear he will rival Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in the spending stakes.

A figure of around 150 million pounds has been discussed in Ambani's inner circle with the telecoms magnate only too happy to sanction such a sum for players.