​Following on from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's announcement that he was looking to sell the club 'before the January transfer window', it has emerged that a consortium led by ex-Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is a frontrunner to buy the Magpies.

Ashley told Sky News earlier this week that ​discussions over a sale are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been.

​The Guardian claims that Ashley is currently 'considering four bids in excess of £300m' for the Magpies, including one from a consortium led by Kenyon.

Kenyon has reportedly been in talks with America-based investors for weeks, including American financial advisory firm Rockefeller Capital Management.

Bidders will have to act fast if they want to buy ​Newcastle prior to the January window. That's because Premier League checks and processes when clubs change hands take around 14 days to complete.

As you'd expect, such checks only occur after there has been due diligence of the club's financial position - not to mention the extensive legal paperwork that needs to be carried out between buyer and seller. 

Adding to the chaos is the fact that Kenyon's group is not the only interested group in Newcastle, which could lead Ashley to start a bidding war to drive up the price of the club.

However, the recent developments will give hope to a starved Toon Army, who have long held out hope that Ashley will finally end his 11-year tenure at the club.