Newcastle owner says EPL club could be sold before January

              Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez, right, instructing his players during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St James Park stadium, Newcastle, England. Saturday Dec. 1, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Newcastle owner Mike Ashley says talks about selling the English Premier League club “are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been.”

Ashley, who bought Newcastle in 2007, has officially been looking to sell the club since October 2017.

Speaking to Sky News on Monday, Ashley said it was “possible” a sale could be completed “before the January transfer window,” although he wasn’t in exclusive negotiations with an interested party.

Ashley said “I am hopeful for the Newcastle fans, for the club, for everyone, so I will be able to step aside and we can get an owner in that will please everybody.”

Newcastle fans have been protesting about Ashley’s ownership in recent months.