Caretaker Newcastle boss Chris Hughton is convinced he will not be in charge when the new Coca-Cola Championship season kicks off.
The former Tottenham and Republic of Ireland defender, currently at the helm at St James’ Park for the third time in less than a year, will lead the Magpies into their first pre-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers tomorrow as the process of selling the club rumbles on.
In the meantime, Alan Shearer is waiting in the wings should new owners decide to appoint him.
But whatever happens on that front, Hughton does not believe his latest temporary reign will extend too much further.
He told the Journal: “The feeling is that it’s hopefully not too far away.
“Until told otherwise, I am prepared to hold the fort for as long as it takes.
“But it seems like there are things going on and obviously the sooner that happens, the better it is for all concerned.
“As far as I know, there have been at least two parties that have made an offer and that is all I’m aware of at the moment.
“I could be in charge another two days, another four days or a bit longer. But I would have thought it would be sooner rather than later.
“I think the spirit is superb among the squad and the lads have been very professional in the way that they have approached things because it is obviously difficult not knowing where we are going.”
Several consortia have matched owner Mike Ashley’s £100m (€1.17m)asking price, with groups from Malaysia and America understood to be leading the way.
However, no deal is yet done, and that means there is still room for manoeuvre, and there have been suggestions in the last 24 hours that Austria-based online gaming company Bwin have also expressed an interest.