FORGET CASH SPLASH FOR ASH Freddie rules out mega Toon buyout
“If Newcastle was worth £1, then lots of people would buy it.
“If it’s £200m, there’s not so many. It all depends. I don’t know what the books are or what position the club is in – I don’t know.”
Shepherd says Ashley hasn’t taken his eye off the ball at St James’ Park, even with the bitter battle for control of Ibrox.
He added: “Mike’s a businessman, end of story. He’s in it to make money, and that’s the bottom line.
“As far as Rangers are concerned, he’s doing them a favour. He can’t control them by shares, but he can control them by money. He’s the Royal Bank of Rangers.”
Siem de Jong has handed caretaker boss John Carver a boost by returning to training.
Toon’s £6m Holland striker has been out since August following surgery on a serious groin injury.
But the 25-year-old is back with the senior squad after a lengthy rehab and is eyeing a return when Newcastle tackle former boss Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace on February 11.
Newcastle are braced for a bid from Shanghai SIPG – managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson – for hitman Papiss Cisse.
The Chinese side are ready to offer the Senegal striker £150,000-a-week to move to the Far East – almost five times his current Toon salary.
Newcastle paid £7m for Cisse three years ago and will listen to offers in that region.
Cisse, 29, has 18 months left on his current deal and is also a target for Swansea, who have money to spend after the £25m sale of Wilfried Bony to Manchester City.