Newcastle United will head to Saudi Arabia for the first time this month since being taken over by the country’s Public Investment Fund.
According to Sportsmail, the squad will fly from the UK following their Premier League match at Leeds on January 22.
Eddie Howe’s side will spend their time at a warm-weather training camp and it is thought there could also be some PR engagements.
The trip is sure to attract attention given the controversy of the £305million buyout in October.
There has been much focus on Saudi’s human-rights record and, so far, Howe and his players have answered all questions on the subject by insisting their focus is on football.
PIF governor and Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan is likely to meet the team during their stay, although it is not known if the country’s leader, Mohammed bin Salman, will do likewise.
Newcastle had to convince the Premier League that Bin Salman and the Saudi state had no connection to the takeover of the club before it was signed off.
PIF – said to be worth £700billion – now owns an 80-per-cent stake in the Magpies, with Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers splitting the remaining shares.
The new owners have spent £37m on Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood already this month, with more investment expected.
Following the game at Leeds, Newcastle are not scheduled to play again until February 8, although their time in Saudi will coincide with the last week of the transfer window.