Amanda Staveley has heaped pressure back onto Mike Ashley after she insisted her offer to buy Newcastle was 'still on the table'.
The British businesswoman was quoted by the Times as she revealed that she had not withdrawn her bid for the Magpies despite Ashley ending talks with her over a possible £250m takeover.
Ashley walked away from negotiations after alleging that Staveley and her company - PCP Capital Partners - were stalling on their deal and were choosing to drag the situation out.
Staveley, however, has fought back against the 'absurd and hurtful' comments made towards her by the Sports Direct owner.
She said: “I’m very much still interested in buying Newcastle, and our bid remains on the table.
“I’m very concerned, I’m very surprised and I’m disappointed about what’s been said this week. The suggestion that we were either wasting time or not serious is absurd. It’s hurtful. Hugely hurtful.”
Does this article not impede the NDA? As she has now revealed a lot about the going ons of the deal— Danny Cascarino (@dannyjcascarino) January 19, 2018
Staveley and PCP are believed to have made three offers to take up the reins at Newcastle as Ashley looks to relinquish control on the Premier League side.
Suggestions that he wants £300m for his shares, though, are what Newcastle fans and Staveley believe are holding up discussions and many Magpies fans have grown angry at the glacial nature of this takeover.
Speaking about why she's so insistent on becoming the club's new owner, Staveley revealed that it was the passionate nature of the north east side that had endeared them to her.
This is a great read, not like the drivel which has been produced over the last few weeks! Well done @CaulkinTheTimes!— Chris Cossey (@Cosseycj) January 19, 2018
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She added: “They’re such passionate fans and it’s a great club. I’m a northerner. My family home is an hour away from St James’ Park. I just love football and Newcastle has a proper history and a real magic.
“That passion of the fans is vitally important when you’re looking at a club, because you know that you’re a custodian. I’m also a passionate believer in investment in the north east, because I know it’s tough. A lot of great things are happening in the city and it’s a really special place, with its own identity. It is absolutely unique.”
And what of current manager Rafael Benitez, who Newcastle supporters are desperate to see stay whoever is in charge?
Staveley said: “Rafa is doing an incredible job. We want Rafa to be part of this project.”