THE Mike Ashley era at Newcastle looks to be coming to an end.
Saudi Arabian billionaire Mohammed Bin Salman is set to buy the Premier League club for £300million from the Sports Direct tycoon.
But reports suggest that a new name is in the hat should the deal fall through, with American businessman Henry Mauriss setting his sights on a Toon takeover.
Who is Henry Mauriss?
A NATIVE of Burbank, California, Mauriss is currently the CEO of ClearTV.
He made his fortune in the credit card and finance industry, before moving into the media and transforming ClearTV into a national giant.
The network now provides services to airports and health care facilities across the States.
Mauriss has also forged partnerships with broadcasting giants NBC and CBS, while maintaining a keen interest in sport.
The Californian is an MLB fanatic and also a Tottenham fan, while he has been particularly impressed by fellow American's John Henry and Tom Werner's work at Liverpool.
A source told the Daily Mirror: "[Mauriss is] a charitable and honourable man – and is desperate to become Newcastle’s new owner. It’s a genuine bid.
"He’s a successful player in the media world in America and has a big interest in English football."
If he was to take over at Toon, Mauriss wants to emulate the Kop strategy which has seen Liverpool turn into a global brand.
The source continued: "He has studied the way his fellow countrymen Werner and Henry have successfully rejuvenated Liverpool and made them one of the world’s dominant forces.
"There is the promise of significant investment not only in the squad but also the club’s academy. It’s a fantastic business plan.
"The investor has seen the way Liverpool’s owners have harnessed themselves with the local community and made it a team effort with everyone pulling in the same direction.
"Newcastle have a huge and loyal support. It’s a club with massive potential."
What is his net worth?
THE wealthy businessman has reportedly offered £50million MORE than the Saudi-led bid.
That takes the overall offer up to £350m, according to reports.
The audacious bid was apparently brokered by Chris Ronnie, a disgraced close associate of current Toon owner Mike Ashley.
Ronnie was jailed for four years in 2014 after a £1m fraud while in charge at Sports Direct rivals JJB Sports.
He is understood to have brought the Mauriss bid to Ashley – with whom he has a long relationship – in January and would have no further involvement if the bid was accepted.
Mauriss purchased, converted and resold over $7billion via portfolio trades with major banks around the world during his time as Chief Executive of Credit America Corporation.
If he was to take over in the North East, he appears to have the cash to fund a transformation similar to that planned by the Saudis.
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