Sheikh Khaled says he has 'agreed terms' with Mike Ashley to buy Newcastle United
Whirlwind deal has sent Newcastle fans into meltdown on social media but club urge for calm as no deal struck just yet
At 16:36pm this afternoon, a statement landed at Chronicle towers from downtown Dubai.
The contents of the message were clear and simple as group managing director Midhat Kidwai confirmed the news that fans were praying to hear.
In it, His Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan rubber-stamped his interest in take Newcastle United off Mike Ashley's hands and attempt to take the club to the next level.
There's no deal struck just yet, but this is as bold and concrete as you could wish for as a Newcastle supporter.
On behalf of Sheikh Khaled it read: "In response to the numerous reports in the world media this morning, we would like to comment as follows.
"We can confirm that representatives of His Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team, about the proposed acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club.
"We view it as an honor to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club.
"We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity."
So the situation is now firmly in Ashley's hands and it will boil down to whether he first accepts the bid and then whether he is convinced that Sheikh Khaled can take United to the next level.
What happens next?
The talks continue with Ashley and his people between Sheikh Khaled but the Toon owner's lawyers are currently processing what has been a whirlwind move from the Dubai-based group.
How long could it take?
Sheikh Khaled will still have to get through a Premier League Owner and Director's test but they are pushing hard and trying to get a quick sale.
What are the Premier League saying?
Top-flight bosses are fully up to speed with developments but are offering a "no comment" status.
What has Ashley said about this?
The Toon owner has said nothing on the record.
His advisors have informed us the situation is genuine but NUFC have issued nothing but a "no comment" response to enquires
Does Rafa Benitez know and will he stay?
Benitez is well aware of the latest revelations but there have been no steers either way on who would be first team boss so far.
Getting the deal done is the main priority.
But Benitez is well known enough in football to be the prime candidate and is a global brand himself so it could be a great match.https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/sheikh-khaled-says-agreed-terms-16339134.amp?__twitter_impression=true