MICK Quinn admits he can’t stop smiling at the prospect of Newcastle United being taken over and the thought of Mike Ashley leaving the club.

It is claimed that a £300m deal which will see Ashley depart is all but agreed and just needs rubber-stamping by the Premier League.

It could take three weeks for the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund to complete their takeover and change the outlook on Tyneside.

Ashley has reportedly signed off the deal and it is now in the hands of lawyers

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is heading up a consortium which involves Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund along with British billionaire businessmen, the Reuben Brothers.

The prince's personal wealth is valued at £7bn, but the collective worth of the PIF group is thought to be £260bn – which catapults the Magpies to the top of the Premier League richlist.

And Quinn said: “See that smile on my face! I am so pleased, so pleased when this takeover goes through because it will mean you have a board of directors and new owners that have an ambition, an ambition to take a massive club like Newcastle to the next level.

“What I mean by that is back to the heady days of Champions League football, top six, getting into Europe, maybe winning another piece of silverware which was last won in 1969 in the Fairs Cup.

“The fans have been through thick and thin, they deserve a board that will be ambitious, and like I said take Newcastle to the next level.’’

He added: “With Mike Ashley, the club is his pawn as such. He’s a clever man, he’s made money out of Newcastle, he’s kept Newcastle in the Premier League to make that money.

“So, he’s had his penny out of Newcastle United – all the fans want is just a board that will love their club and take them to the next level and I’m praying that this goes through for them Newcastle fans.’’

Quinn was speaking to the on Paddy Power Media’s new podcast, From The Horse’s Mouth.