Mike Ashley tells Derby administrators he is ‘willing and ready to transact’

Former Newcastle owner confirms interest in League One clubAmerican businessman Chris Kirchner failed to meet deadlineMike Ashley has contacted Derby’s administrators to confirm he retains an interest in the club. The former Newcastle owner’s move comes after the American businessman Chris Kirchner, named as the preferred bidder in April, failed to meet Friday’s 5pm deadline to show he was in a position to complete his deal to buy the club.Ashley has written to Derby’s administrators, Quantuma, via his lawyers, saying he “remains willing and ready to transact”. A copy of the letter has been seen by the PA news agency. Kirchner’s failure to prove he had the funds in place to complete the takeover prompted Quantuma to announce on Thursday that it was “continuing discussions with other interested parties”.