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Toon's Ashley eyes Rangers investment

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is reportedly interested in purchasing a 10% stake in The Rangers FC.

Reports in Scotland claim a deal between Ashley and Rangers chief executive Charles Green are at an advanced stage - and could be concluded by the end of this week.

Sports Direct supremo Ashley, who purchased Newcastle for £134 million in 2007, is also believed to be attempting to finalise a deal that will allow him to sell Rangers' replica shirt in his stores.

In 2006, former owner Sir David Murray signed a 10-year retail deal with JJB Sports - worth an estimated £48 million - but following Rangers' fall into liquidation it is understood that the new company, which purchased the club's assets for £5.5 million, is not bound to the agreement made between Murray and JJB.

That means The Rangers FC are able renegotiate commercial deals and Ashley is believed to be primed to swoop in for replica shirt rights, though, when asked about the matter, a spokesman for JJB said: "We continue to work with the Rangers owners."

Representatives of Rangers and Ashley have thus far declined to comment on the matter.

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