According to The Chronicle, Saudi-based consortium PIF had Gareth Bale, Manchester City duo Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres, Lazio striker Ciro Immobile and Napoli marksman Victor Osimhen in their sights if a takeover materialised.
The group had agreed a £305million buy out of Newcastle earlier this year, but the deal collapsed. However, The Chronicle reveal that contact between Mike Ashley and the consortium remained.
While all of this transfer talk feels akin to that of somebody using the Magpies on Football Manager, it’s hard not to imagine just how different this Newcastle side would currently look if PIF landed in the hotseat.
In reality, Steve Bruce managed to sign Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser from Bournemouth, and also captured Jamal Lewis from Norwich and Jeff Hendrick from Burnley. Peruvian youngster Rodrigo Vilca and shot-stopper Mark Gillespie were also signed.
These targets are incredibly exciting, and would presumably have put us in with a fighting chance for Europe.
Bale is a world-renowned star with four Champions League titles to his name. Immobile is a deadly finisher who just netted 39 goals for Lazio in 2019/20.
Elsewhere, Ake and Torres recently moved to Manchester City for £40 million and £20.87 million respectively, whereas Nigerian striker Osimhen completed a move from Lille to Napoli worth over £74 million.