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July 21, 2009

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Newcastle bidder intends to keep Shearer

INVESTMENT company Profitable Group intends to keep Alan Shearer as Newcastle manager if it is successful with its bid to buy the club.

However, Profitable Group commercial director Steve McMahon said yesterday that the company needs to hear back from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley by the end of the week if the bid is to proceed.

"We would certainly be looking to keep Alan," said McMahon, a former Liverpool and England midfielder. "He would be a major draw for players to the club and for the supporters.

"Shearer is part of the future for Newcastle if we acquire it."

Ashley is fielding offers from several interested buyers. A South African-based group was thought to be interested, while another interested company is from Oman. Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has been linked with another consortium.

"We need something to happen very, very quickly, for Newcastle supporters, and for the players," McMahon said. "The season is only two or three weeks away for the Championship to start. We urgently need something to happen, and we're trying to make that happen.

"I would imagine this week is crucial. If we don't hear anything back by the end of the week, it doesn't look hopeful."

Ashley had put an asking price of 100 million pounds (US$165 million) on the club, which was relegated from the Premier League. McMahon indicated his group would be unlikely to meet that bid, but would offer fair value.


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