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EXCLUSIVE: Iranian tycoon close to Newcastle Utd deal
Iranian businessman Sirous Mahjoob on Thursday confirmed that he is in the final stages of negotiations to buy English football club Newcastle United.
In an interview with Iranian news agency ILNA, the UAE-based tycoon said that he hoped the deal would help to strengthen Iranian football.
“My purpose in buying Newcastle is to help Iranian football,” he said.
“Without any question my love and passion for my country has made me want to create a bridge and a good relationship between Iranian football and British football. With this I could be part of making Iranian football grow.”
Mahjoob also said that one of his goals was to use Iranian players and coaches at Newcastle, and revealed that he has approached the ‘David Beckham of Iranian football', Ali Daei, with regards a coaching role at the club.
“Ali Daei is a definite priority for coaching the Newcastle team for the first season,” he said. “Daei is one of my close friends and we have had short conversations together, although we haven’t had serious talks with regards to this. After we purchase the club we will talk with Daei in regards to his presence.”
Daei is a former Iranian football player and coach. He is a former captain of the Iran national football team, is the world's all-time leading goalscorer in international matches, and briefly coached the national team in its failed attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.
A spokesman for Mahjoob said on Wednesday that he wanted to bring Kevin Keegan back to St James' Park for a third spell as manager.
On the same day, Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias said that the troubled club – relegated from the English Premier League