Newcastles new owner spent more on fake Da Vinci painting than he will buying Magpies

Newcastle’s proposed new owner, Mohammed bin Salman, is on the verge of completing his £305million deal to takeover the Magpies. But such is the Saudi crown prince’s wealth, it’s been revealed that he’s spent more than that alone on a fake Leonardo Da Vinci painting.

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There has been a huge turnaround in the past 24 hours to leave the takeover on the cusp of completion.

The deal was originally blocked by the Premier League over various concerns, with current Toon chief Mike Ashley taking legal action.

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But those fears have now been allayed and the takeover is expected to be confirmed on Thursday.

The Magpies’ new owner is expected to pump £250m of investment into the club once contracts have been signed.

But that, and the initial £305m fee to finally rid the club of Mike Ashley, will make just a small dent in his fortune.

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And it’s now been revealed by Forbes that bin Salman will spend less acquiring the club than he did on a painting he believed to be by Da Vinci – only for it to turn out to be a fake.

The Salvator Mundi painting was purchased for £340m, however, the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum unexpectedly the paintings planned unveiling in 2018 – raising doubts over the authenticity of the piece.

Artnet reported a year late that the painting was on bin Salman’s yacht, with three experts from the Louvre in Paris concluding that the painting was from Da Vinci’s studio, but not from the renowned Italian himself.

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It’s alleged in a forthcoming documentary that the crown prince offered to loan the painting to the Louvre for an exhibition on Da Vinci providing it was billed as authentic. However, that proposal was rejected.

Newcastle fans reacted with delight as news broke of the impending takeover on Wednesday.

Fans have protested against Ashley throughout the majority of his 14-year reign, which now looks to be in its final hours.

When the deal is concluded, it’s expected that beleaguered boss Steve Bruce will be relieved of his duties after months of criticism from the terraces, whilst fresh investment will be tabled for new players and to revamp the club’s infrastructure.

Bruce was originally not expecting to return after the first lockdown when the deal was seemingly on the verge of completion before various obstacles halted proceedings.

But now Magpies fans are just hours away from the day that many have them have been dreaming of for years.

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