Newcastle takeover boost as billionaire James Pallotta sells Roma for £533m amid Toon links

NEWCASTLE were handed a takeover boost with the news billionaire James Pallotta has sold Roma for £533million.

The American businessman agreed a sale of the Serie A side amid reports he could reinvest the money into the Toon.

Pallotta offloaded Roma to compatriot Dan Friedkin after ten months of negotiations.

On the club's official website, Pallotta said: "Over the last month, Dan and Ryan Friedkin have demonstrated their total commitment to finalising this deal and taking the club forward in a positive way.

"I am sure they will be great future owners for AS Roma."

Houston-based entrepreneur Dan Friedkin is chairman and CEO of The Friedkin Group and will be officially confirmed as the club's new owner by the end of the month.

He said: "All of us at The Friedkin Group are so happy to have taken the steps to become a part of this iconic city and club.

"We look forward to closing the purchase as soon as possible and immersing ourselves in the AS Roma family."

Pallotta had been at the helm at Roma since 2011 before looking to sell for the last year.

Newcastle takeover latest

Geordie fans had their hopes dashed after the £300million proposed Saudi takeover collapsed.

The consortium led by Amanda Staveley and backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund dropped out of a deal, blaming the prolonged process of being approved by the Premier League.

The Magpies would have become the league's richest club but 17 weeks after paperwork was first filed their dreams were in tatters last week.

Over 84,000 angry fans have signed a petition online calling for PM Boris Johnson to launch an independent enquiry into the failed takeover.

But Newcastle owner Mike Ashley – who stands to pocket £17m despite the deal's collapse – is still desperate to sell.

It was previously claimed Ashley had slapped an August 14 deadline on US tycoon Henry Mauriss to get a deal done.

Who is James Pallotta?

But now Pallotta, also known as Jim, is reportedly in the mix to buy the North East club.

As far back as January, Italian news agency Adnkrono reported Pallotta had asked for information about the purchase of Newcastle.

Pallotta has huge personal wealth with a fortune exceeding £760m thanks to a personal and professional investment portfolio.

He runs Raptor Group – a private investment company with a culture which is "relentlessly entrepreneurial, opportunistic, flexible, and nimble".

The 62-year-old billionaire is also part of the management group of NBA side the Boston Celtics.

Pallotta had become frustrated at a lack of progress on a new stadium he was trying to build at Roma.

He helped propel the Italian side to become one of the biggest presences on social media.

And is friends with legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Pallotta sat next to the Scot for Roma's Champions League game against Barcelona in 2018.

The Italian side famously pulled off an unbelievable comeback and Pallotta celebrated by jumping into a fountain in the Italian capital.

He was hit with a fine of over £400 for his jubilant antics but does not regret a thing, even thanking the mayor for the punishment and labelling it "well-deserved".

There is still hope a Saudi deal for Newcastle could be resurrected after Staveley said they would not give up and Toon MD Lee Charnely said "never say never".

But Pallotta could be another option to help transform the club's financial outlook and bring fans the change they crave.

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