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Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Sunday, 9 August 2009 11:47 UK

Ashley lines up O'Leary as boss

David O'Leary
O'Leary's last management position was at Aston Villa in 2006

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is reconsidering his decision to sell the club and may opt to remain at St James' Park, BBC Radio 5 live understands.

It is also believed that Ashley will move to appoint David O'Leary as manager if he remains at the Magpies.

Ashley put the club up for sale in May following their relegation from the Premier League to the Championship.

"My understanding is that there will be developments at Newcastle this week," says 5 live's Garry Richardson.

"It could result in Mike Ashley deciding not to sell Newcastle if he can't find a buyer at the right price. He might decide to cut his losses and stay as chairman.

Paul Fletcher at The Hawthorns

"If Mike Ashley stays it could lead to him approaching David O'Leary to be the manager. As always with Newcastle it's ifs and buts but certainly as things stand this morning, it could be David O'Leary and Mike Ashley could be staying."

Local businessmen Barry Moat had emerged as a leading contender to buy the club, which Ashley bought in 2007.

Moat, an executive box holder at St James' Park, has previously invested in the club's academy and also helped to organise former striker and manager Alan Shearer's testimonial.

Ashley paid £134.4m for Newcastle and was reportedly willing to sell for as little as £80m.

It is the second time Ashley has put the Magpies up for sale, having originally taken them off the market in December 2008.


O'Leary has been out of management since he left his position at Aston Villa in 2006. The former Arsenal and Republic of Ireland defender has also previously managed Leeds United.

Newcastle are currently managed by caretaker boss Chris Hughton after Shearer's temporary role at the club ended following their relegation last season.

Shearer told the BBC on Saturday that he has not ruled out returning once the ownership situation is clarified.

"I'm still in limbo," he said. "I wanted it sorted either way because of my love for the football club. "I'd dearly love the chance to finish what I started last season."

On Wednesday, previous manager Joe Kinnear claimed he had been offered a two-year deal to return as boss by Ashley but rejected the offer as he continues to recover from surgery.

Kinnear, 62, underwent a triple heart bypass operation in February.

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see also
West Brom 1-1 Newcastle
08 Aug 09 |  Championship
Newcastle takeover back on track
04 Oct 09 |  Newcastle
Kinnear makes Newcastle job claim
05 Aug 09 |  Newcastle
Hughton fearful of player sales
03 Aug 09 |  Newcastle
Ashley wants quick Newcastle sale
31 May 09 |  Newcastle
Newcastle's season of misery
24 May 09 |  Newcastle
Shearer confirmed as Magpies boss
01 Apr 09 |  Newcastle
Aitken at helm after O'Leary exit
20 Jul 06 |  Aston Villa

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