Sky news, Monday:

Retail tycoon Mike Ashley has told Sky News he is in talks to sell Newcastle United in a deal he hopes will go through before the January transfer window.

Mr Ashley told Sky's Ian King Live the talks were not yet at an "exclusive" stage but that they were "at a more progressed stage than they have ever been".

He said: "I am hopeful for the Newcastle fans, for the club, for everybody, that I will be able to step aside and we will be able to get an owner in that will please everybody.

"I'd like it to be before the January transfer window."

Asked whether he saw that timetable as realistic, he said it was "possible" but that realistic was "maybe too strong a word".

"Hopefully we can carry on the good form - just recent good form - and we can get the deal done.

"Talks are at a more progressed stage than they've ever been."

The Sports Direct and House of Fraser boss did not name the prospective buyer of the Premier League club. It has previously attracted the interest of Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners, which tabled a £300m bid late last year.

There has been disgruntlement among many fans about the level of transfer funds available to the club's manager Rafa Benitez.

Asked about the new owner putting in funds for Benitez, Mr Ashley said: "Yes, I am very keen to sell it to the right buyer so everybody's happy."