BARRY Moat has informed Alan Shearer his bid to buy Newcastle United will either succeed or fail at the start of next week as he tries to persuade the banks to loan him the money needed to complete a takeover.
Shearer urgently contacted the Tyneside businessman on his return from a family holiday yesterday following reports Joe Kinnear is set to be appointed Magpies manager.
Significantly, Shearer believes Kinnear will take the job next week if Moat can not reach an agreement, even though the former Wimbledon man criticised United supporters over the summer for attacking owner Mike Ashley and mocked their hero-worship of Shearer and former manager Kevin Keegan. Shearer is increasingly alarmed by recent developments at St James’s Park and fears his attempt to become permanent manager could be doomed as Ashley prepares to take the club off the market for the second time in eight months.
Despite receiving assurances from Moat that he is still frantically trying to complete a takeover, the chairman of his testimonial committee has also warned it could be derailed by the banks.
Moat has been looking for additional financial backing after he was named by Seymour Pierce, the bank in charge of the sale process, as the preferred bidder, but has so far failed to raise it in full.
With Ashley’s patience running out, the deal is hanging by the slenderest of threads with a source close to Shearer insisting last night that Moat will either be “in our out in the next five days.”
The source added: “Alan is worried about the recent news because it looks like Ashley (pictured right) will take the club off the market and appoint his own manager. He has been told Joe will be appointed next week if Moat cannot do something about it.
“When he talked to Barry Moat he was told they are still negotiating with the banks but time is running out. Moat has said he will either be in or out in the next five days.”
Shearer is understood to be supportive of yesterday’s move to sign Manchester United defender Danny Simpson on loan until January, but is dismayed at the loss of Damien Duff to Fulham. Shearer had put the Republic of Ireland international on the list of players he wanted to keep at St James’s Park when he discussed his permanent appointment with Ashley back in May.
But that list has been completely ignored by the Ashley regime, who appear to be more interested in off-loading the club’s high earners, while Duff has become utterly disillusioned by the takeover farce and the failure to appoint Shearer. Duff said his goodbyes at United’s training ground yesterday morning and is expected to complete a £4m move to west London in the next 48 hours.
“Damien Duff was on Alan’s list of players Newcastle needed to keep if they were going to have the best chance of promotion back to the Premier League,” said The Journal’s well-placed source.
“But then again so were Habib Beye and Sébastien Bassong, so he isn’t exactly surprised. It seems Ashley is going to ignore everything that was on that list. It doesn’t seem to have counted for anything.” Meanwhile, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is excited about the prospect of seeing Duff in a Fulham shirt as he looks to add to a squad which secured a surprise top eight finish last season.
He said: “Every time he’s played for Ireland he’s consistently been one of their best performers..”
United are also understood to have an interest in Watford defender Mike Williamson, while the possibility of Steven Taylor leaving Tyneside for Everton appears limited after Toffees boss David Moyes said the 23-year-old was “too expensive” amid reports that he had lodged an £8m bid for the player.