According to Sky, Ms Staveley's PCP Capital Partners tabled a bid to buy Newcastle from Mr Ashley late last week following more than two months of negotiations.
Sky Sports claims Newcastle have denied the bid is worth in the region of £300m.
PCP's money is a combination of Ms Staveley's equity and that of her major investors, which include funds based in the Middle East.
"I think if you didn't support Sunderland, who wouldn't want to see Newcastle win the FA Cup this year, because number one, their supporters and number two they haven't won anything for god knows how long.
"They're middle of the table, they're not getting relegated, they're not going to get in the top four, they should play their strongest team all the time.
"Buy the club for £300 million? If you want to be successful, one you've got to keep the manager (Rafa Benitez) because he's probably in the top 10 in the world and the other thing, you need at least another £300million (to spend on players), at least £300 million."
It is a sobering thought that the Magpies must spend over a quarter of a billion pounds on transfers alone just to be competitive.
But Merson isn't alone in his thinking with Jamie Carragher recently suggesting they would need to spend double that to challenge at the top end of the Premier League.