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By ESPN Staff

Ashley expecting return on Toon investment

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has seemingly increased the pressure on Kevin Keegan by insisting his side should be capable of competing with the Premier League's top four.

Recent speculation has suggested Ashley is considering selling the club, while other reports claimed the sportswear magnate fell out with Keegan towards the end of last season after the manager insisted his side had no chance of competing with the so-called 'big four'.

Keegan has only signed Jonas Gutierrez and Danny Guthrie so far this summer but Ashley insists the likes of Newcastle should be able to put up a fight against Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

'The top four have enormous resources but over time it must be possible to compete with them,' Ashley is quoted as saying in The Sun.

'I've invested £250million in Newcastle and so that and European nights of football must be the dream.

'Compared with some of the other owners in the Premier League, I may be a middleweight taking on heavyweights but I'm building the boxer up.'

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