NEWCASTLE UNITED’S players are focused on maintaining the promising start to life back in the Premier League, as the lawyer responsible for finding a buyer for the club tries to determine the parties most serious.

There were further suggestions yesterday that Amanda Staveley, who controls around £28bn of Middle East money through PCP Capital Partners, is seriously interested in leading a takeover.

Fresh details emerged through international media sources that she is willing to pay around £303m for Newcastle. The report also claimed Staveley is willing to invest around £150m in the squad if successful.

She has also been linked with other English clubs, including Liverpool, but a report from the City yesterday suggested that Newcastle is very high in her sights.

City lawyer Andrew Henderson has been inundated with enquiries after Mike Ashley, the Magpies’ owner, made it clear on Monday evening that he wants to sell up before Christmas.

Several interested buyers had already signed non-disclosure agreements before that announcement, but there has since been numerous fresh approaches to get a feel for what is required to buy Ashley out.

There is known to be still interest from at least two Chinese consortiums, while speculation has increased that there is strong interest from America where Russian politician Mikhail Prohorov is among those being linked having put the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets up for sale.

There has been a denial from Turkish biscuit billionaire Murat Ulker after it was reported he was ready to make a move. His company, Yildiz Holding, which owns the McVitie’s brand, has since distanced themselves from Newcastle and stated they “wish them the best of luck in finding a new owner.”

Ulker is merely one of the names being talked about, so Henderson is sifting through the emails and calls in a bid to ensure he can discount time wasters so that a deal could be done more quickly.

Ashley has instructed Henderson to ensure that any buyer will provide Newcastle with the financial backing to help Rafa Benitez take the club on to the next level.

This is his third time Ashley has attempted to sell up since acquiring control ten years ago and he is believed to be looking for nearer the £400m mark for a club he bought for £134.4m a decade ago; since then the money available to Premier League clubs through broadcast rights has shot up considerably.

Any increase in transfer spending power would be welcomed by Benitez during the January transfer window, but he does not want his players to be distracted from what has been a relatively decent start following promotion from the Premier League.

Newcastle have lost just two of their league games so far and sit in mid-table. That position could have been stronger had Southampton not grabbed a late equaliser from the spot at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Ghana winger Christian Atsu said: "I think we deserved to win. It was unlucky that we drew 2-2. Now we are focused on the next game. It was difficult. We knew they would have more possession, but we wanted to hit them on the counter. Two times we got them, and scored two goals. It showed that we were a threat to them throughout the game.

"It happens in football. It was unfortunate that they scored late, but this is football and need to forget and focus on the next game."

Now the focus turns back to a home game, with Crystal Palace set to arrive on Tyneside on Saturday.

Atsu, who has impressed since making a permanent move from Chelsea in a £6.2m deal in the summer, wants the Eagles to be put under plenty of pressure despite knowing his former club were defeated by Roy Hodgson’s side last weekend.

He said: "We will keep fighting and try to attack teams. We have Crystal Palace at home in front of our fans. We're confident. I'm very happy playing for Newcastle. I want to improve each and every game. I want to score and to assist more. I know my level, so I need to keep working hard and try to help the team."