NEWCASTLE United legend Kevin Keegan has been linked with a return to the club.

Twice manager at St James’ Park, Keegan has been a critic of Mike Ashley’s running of the club, going as far as describing Ashley’s reign as ‘an empire of self-harm’.

But with the club set for a takeover and Ashley on his way, the consortium who are out to take over are ready to offer Keegan an ambassadorial role at St James’ Park.

It would be a public relations masterstroke to get Keegan back on board. His last spell at the club ended in acrimony in 2008 when he quit as boss.

The multi-billionaire Saudi Arabia investment fund are set to take control of 80 per cent of the club, with Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers both taking ten per cent stakes.

The Saudi group, funded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has worldwide assets worth more than $320 billion.

The Premier League are in the process of scrutinising the deal, with approval said to be close.

And Keegan’s planned return could see a number of club heroes also return to boost the club’s public relations, following a strained period under Ashley. Keegan’s long-time assistant Terry McDermott is also being linked with a position.

Rob Lee was signed by Keegan in 1992, the manager convincing him to sign for the club ahead of Middlesbrough, and played a key role in his team of entertainers.

And the former midfielder admitted: “He had a great affiliation to the Newcastle fans. He always wanted to entertain them. He always thought the crowd was a fantastic crowd and he wanted to give them a football team they could be proud of – and I think he did that.

“All he wanted was for the fans to be entertained and for people to come up to him and say, ‘watching the team is fantastic’ – and not just not Newcastle fans.

“Other fans from other teams still come up to me now and say they loved the way we played.”

He added on TalkSPORT: “From the minute I got there in 1992, all Kevin used to say was ‘go out there and entertain the crowd’.

“There was very little on tactics; he would just buy good players and let them play.

“There were very, very few team talks, we never went over the opposition and rarely did corners and free kicks.

“You know when you are a kid and you played football down the park – that’s how we used to play.

“From some of the games we played it was like a schoolboy’s game; they attack, we attack, they attack, we attack. We would score a lot of goals, let a lot in, but that was Kevin Keegan.”