Jim Pallotta namechecking Newcastle United as a Premier League club he could look to buy in the future may be music to the ears of Matty Longstaff.
The former owner of Serie A outfit AS Roma mentioned the Magpies to The Athletic recently while discussing his ambitions to one day explore purchasing an English club.
Pallotta has previously been linked with a potential takeover at St James’ Park, with it even claimed that a viability study into buying Mike Ashley out was conducted last year.
The American businessman, who had a net worth of $1bn (£723m) in 2019, has also raised further capital following the €591m (£505m) sale of Roma in August 2020 by cashing in his 8% stake in NBA team Boston Celtics.
Pallotta now appears to be itching for a return to football ownership, joking: “I was hiding for a while but since I put an offer in for Newcastle…”
He added: “I do think that if there’s a place that makes sense for me, it’s the Premier League. I think there are interesting teams in the Premier League that have great history and it would be nice to see them getting back to it.
“The Newcastles of the world. Great, great fanbase. Those are the kind of things I think would be interesting to be a part of with a good group [of investors] and there’s more rationality there [at league level] in many ways.”
Ashley is said to value Newcastle at £300m but the figure is expected to be under serious threat if United are relegated from the Premier League this season, per Chronicle Live.
Football finance expert Kieran Maguire has previously suggested that Ashley may have to lower his demands by as much as £100m if Newcastle become a Championship club, while overseas buyers have already been linked with discounted approaches based on relegation.
It would remain to be seen where Ashley values the Magpies as a second-tier outfit and just how open investors truly are to financing a takeover, but Pallotta’s comments may come as music to the ears of those currently on the fringes of the first team.
A new owner may look to remove Steve Bruce from his position and hire their own head coach, a decision Ashley is currently reluctant to make due to the 60-year-old’s loyalty to the Sports Direct tycoon and his passion for the club, per Sky Sports.
Longstaff would likely be one player eager for a fresh start under a new manager, having seen his game-time fall off a cliff under Bruce this term, with Sunday’s draw with Tottenham Hotspur his first inclusion in a matchday squad in six matches.
The 21-year-old has not featured at any stage over Newcastle’s last 12 Premier League fixtures, either, having been cast into the wilderness after a run of four starts from a possible five post-Christmas.
Bruce’s position is perplexing to the player and his teammates, as he is and has been fully fit throughout his time out of the starting XI, per The Athletic, while Chronicle Live’s Ciaran Kelly quoted the Toon boss last month as claiming the midfielder’s time would come.
“He’s not in the side but let’s not forget he’s got a huge future – there’s no question about that,” Bruce said. “He had a big rise last year and finds himself not in the team at the moment, so he’s just got to stick with it. His time will come again, that’s for sure.”
It remains to be seen whether Sunday’s recall to the matchday squad was a sign of Longstaff making his way back into contention, or if he will have to wait for someone like Pallotta to arrive and dispatch Bruce for his next chance at becoming a regular in black and white.