American investor Joseph DaGrosa has confirmed his interest in buying Newcastle United but cast doubt over whether a deal can be agreed with Mike Ashley.
DaGrosa, who owned French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux until recently, says he has been in talks with representatives of Magpies owner Ashley via his company Great American Capital Partners (GACP), of which he is chairman and chief executive.
Ashley has been trying to sell the Tyneside club for a number of years and his ownership has been protested against by a group of supporters, including in the summer when Steve Bruce succeeded Rafa Benitez as manager.
DaGrosa told NBC Sports. "I can certainly confirm interest. I will confirm that I've had conversations with Mike Ashley's top representative. I would describe those conversations as very positive.
"I would say Mike Ashley and his team are a lot easier and a lot friendlier and business savvy than anyone gives them credit for.
"We're still talking. I'm not sure we're going to reach an agreement, but that's certainly not because of either side's intractability or unwillingness to move forward."
GACP Sports sold its stake in Bordeaux to King Street Capital Management in December, just 18 months after their takeover, but DaGrosa insists his group are looking to buy another club as soon as they can.
"In terms of our other plans, we've maintained all along we want to be players in sports, particularly soccer, and we're looking not only in Europe but in South America right now," DaGrosa said.
"Negotiations are going on right now with a couple of clubs, and I think the best is yet to come for GACP Sports."