Mike Ashley considering bid for Derby County
Ashley is interested in purchasing the Championship club
Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is reportedly interested in purchasing financially-stricken Championship club, Derby County.
It would be Ashley's first project since selling Newcastle for £305 million in October after 14 years as the Magpies' owner and is looking at the Rams, who have been in administration since September.
As reported by the BBC, it is understood that the club's administrators, Quantama, would consider offers in and around the £50 million mark to take control of the club.
Last month, administrators confirmed that they were close to naming a preferred bidder with a consortium fronted by former Derby chairman Andy Appleby, chief executive Sam Rush and Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey said to be one of those in the running.
But Ashley has entered talks at the eleventh hour and a deal could be done swiftly for the 57-year-old to take over.
In order for any purchase to be completed, potential suitors must be able to supply proof of two years' funding to the Football League - something which Ashley would be able to do.
However a deal is made more complicated by the fact that the club's previous owner, Mel Morris, still technically owns Pride Park and the fact that Quantama want to sell the club and stadium as one package.
Derby boss Wayne Rooney meanwhile was hopeful that an announcement would be made soon, but was grateful that he had clarity on any fears he may have to sell players in the January window.
He said: "I've spoken to them [Quantuma]. Hopefully it [the preferred bidder] will get announced soon but the positive thing for me is the questions I've asked about what I can do with my squad have been answered."
Derby currently remain bottom of the table but are only 11 points off safety after being deducted 21 points throughout the season.
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