Shay Given compares Newcastle's prospects to Manchester City - if takeover is completed

Manchester City's new goalkeeper Shay Given poses with his shirt after signing for the club from Newcastle United at a photocall at their training ground in Manchester, north west England,...

Newcastle United appear set for a takeover after Mike Ashley put the club up for sale.

Shay Given of Stoke City arrives prior to the Premier League match between Sunderland and Stoke City at Stadium of Light on January 14, 2017 in Sunderland, England.Shay Given

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given has told The Telegraph that he thinks the Magpies can become like Manchester City with additional investment.

After winning promotion back to the Premier League last term, the Magpies have made a strong start to life back in the top flight, winning four of their nine Premier League games ahead of Monday's trip to Burnley.

Fans have renewed optimism under Rafael Benitez, and with fortunes on the field improving, there is also new hope about the club's off-field situation, given that unpopular owner Mike Ashley has put the club up for sale.

Owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle United, Mike Ashley, arrives at the High Court on July 10, 2017 in London, England. Mr Ashley is defending himself against a lawsuit filed by former...

A new owner is set to arrive, with Sky Sports reporting that Amanda Staveley and the PCP Capital Partners have struck a confidentiality agreement with Ashley and co, meaning they are in the box seat to take over the club.

The hope is that a takeover will give Newcastle the funds they need to go and challenge top clubs, somewhat similar to Everton's intentions and how Manchester City rose to power back in 2008.

One man who knows plenty about Newcastle, as well as City's rise in recent years, is former goalkeeper Shay Given, who left the Magpies to join City's revolution in January 2009.

Given has now told The Telegraph that he thinks, given Staveley's connections, Newcastle could emulate City's development in recent years, particularly given how City were in a similar situation before Sheikh Mansour's takeover, hovering around mid-table.

Manchester City's new goalkeeper Shay Given poses with his shirt after signing for the club from Newcastle United at a photocall at their training ground in Manchester, north west England,...Shay Given

Whilst those are lofty comparisons to make, Given feels that the fanbase and the manager - Rafael Benitez - are perfect for where Newcastle want to go, and with the right financial backing, the Magpies can be a force once again.

“Hopefully the club will be taken over because I don’t understand why Mike Ashley bought it in the first place,” said Given. “A club like Newcastle, if it has proper financial backing, it can go wherever it wants really. It’s got the stadium and the fanbase already. I don’t know much about Amanda Staveley, but I hear she’s got family who are from the area and if she takes over, of course it is realistic for Newcastle to be as big as Man City.”

“Look where they were when Sheikh Mansour took control, they were bobbing along in the bottom half of the Premier League and look where they are now. They are one of the favourites to win the Champions League and they are probably favourites to win the Premier League, If Newcastle are taken over, it won’t happen that quickly, but they’ve already got the right manager in place in Rafa Benítez and everything is in place, it’s really exciting. If there is huge investment in the team, they will be queueing round the block to get into the stadium.”

“I’m just so glad they kept hold of Rafa last summer because I think it was touch and go, but if he is given proper money to spend in January and next summer, it will pick up speed really quickly and they will be back up there challenging for honours. He has already brought the feelgood factor back to the club and the city, even though people have a problem with the owner,” he added.

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