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Mike Ashley will only negotiate when he is convinced proposed buyers of Newcastle are genuine

Mike Ashley will only negotiate with proposed buyers of Newcastle United once his lawyers have convinced him they are genuine.

London-based Dentons are acting as a filter for all those who express an interest in buying the club and sources claim up to 50 such enquiries have been fielded since the Saudi-led takeover collapsed two weeks ago.

However, Ashley and his trusted lieutenant Justin Barnes will only get involved if Dentons advise that an approach is serious and those interested have the financial backing to complete a deal.

That means the owner has not yet had any contact with the Singapore group who submitted a £280million offer over the weekend.

Sportsmail has seen the documentation that was sent to Dentons by the Bellagraph Nova Group (BNG), in which it is claimed they have provided proof of funds.

But the offer is below the £300m asking price and there is caution given the investor group have released a statement confirming their offer, raising the suspicion of this being an easy publicity grab.

Former Newcastle striker Michael Chopra is acting as a broker for BNG, who insist they are serious about buying the club and claim to have the financial means to negotiate should their offer be rejected.

Singaporean cousins Terence and Nelson Loh head the Paris-based group and it is said they are ready to pay £250,000 to access the club’s data room.

Meanwhile, former Newcastle manager and captain Alan Shearer has been mooted for a role after he was mentioned in the BNG statement.

However, we understand Shearer has told them what he routinely does to such offers from would-be buyers— come back when you’ve bought the club.

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