Newcastle's bitter rivals Sunderland are the subject of fresh takeover speculation.
The report claims the Mackems have held talks with consortia in the Far East regarding the club's possible £150 million sale, having began yet another top flight campaign poorly.
Such acquisitions usually lead to playing squad investment, which if implemented in January could enable Sunderland to climb up the table and in a strong position to compete next season.
With bitter rivals Newcastle United consigned to the Championship for at least the next eight months, Sunderland would theoretically have a head start on the Magpies next term were that to be the case.
"They can have as many Chinese owners as possible but they’ve no chance of being bigger in stature than my beloved Newcastle United."
Despite their current predicaments, Sunderland and Newcastle are without question two of English football's most decorated clubs.
As well as welcoming around 50,000 supporters through their respective gates each home fixture, the pair have won 10 top flight titles (Sunderland, 6; Newcastle, 4), eight FA Cups (Sunderland, 2; Newcastle, 6) and one European trophy (Newcastle) between them.