Former Liverpool star and current BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has said he is worried about Newcastle United’s “difficult situation” over the proposed takeover ahead of the January transfer window.

The Magpies have officially been up for sale since current owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale earlier this season, which has led to negotiations taking place with PCP Capital Partners, fronted by British-born, Dubai-based businesswoman Amanda Staveley, over a potential sale of the club.

However there has yet to be a official breakthrough in talks and with just days until the opening of the January transfer window, Lawrenson has revealed he is worried about the state of the club, with a relegation battle looming in the second half of the season.

Predicting a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s home clash against fellow promoted side Brighton, Lawrenson wrote on the BBC Sport website: “The Magpies have to try to win this one.

“The Seagulls are only three points above Newcastle in the table but I just don’t see (Chris) Hughton’s side getting relegated – I never really have.

“It is different with Newcastle, and I am little bit worried for them. The takeover of the club is turning into a long-running saga and they need to bring in new players in January.

“They have Benitez as manager, which is a huge positive, but who is he talking to about potential signings? Is it the current regime or the new people? It is a very difficult situation for them.”

The Magpies are currently sitting 15th in the Premier League table, just one point above the relegation zone and three points behind their opponents on Saturday.

They managed to bring in just five new faces in the summer transfer window, with Christian Atsu turning his loan deal into a permanent stay to make it six in total, which left Benitez publicly voicing his frustrations at the club’s inability to secure his top targets.

In other Newcastle United news, fans have been raging over a major first team blow suffered ahead of the clash against Brighton.

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