Jon Rahm close to £450m LIV Golf deal as Newcastle United owners PIF intervene

Two-time major champion Jon Rahm is set to be the latest big name to switch to LIV Golf – with the Spaniard closing in on a record £450million deal with the Saudi-backed breakaway tour. Rahm will apparently join LIV Golf for the 2024 season, with a deal close to being struck after protracted negotiations with the Public Investment Fund.

Rahm, who has spoken out against LIV Golf in the past, is expected to sign imminently and will take control of his own team. While nothing is finalised yet, the former World No. 1 – and current World No. 3 – would represent the biggest coup for LIV Golf yet. 

PIF – the Saudi sovereign wealth fund which owns Newcastle United – took control of negotiations as officials decided Rahm was a key target. According to Telegraph Sport, Rahm will be joined by Jason Day and Adrian Meronk as they make the move to LIV Golf. 

On Tuesday, speculation over Rahm’s future swirled when his name was absent  from entries to the Amex PGA Tour event in January. As defending champion, Tour custom dictates that Rahm will take part at Torrey Pines – unless he has made a decision over his future. 

Meanwhile, Rahm’s camp continue to avoid queries, which inevitably only reinvigorates rumours regarding a potential move to LIV Golf. The timing of the rumours surrounding Rahm’s future is curious, with PGA Tour chief executive Jay Monahan scheduled to meet with PIF governor – and Newcastle United chairman – Yasir Rumayyan next week. 

Since the framework agreement between the two parties that stunned the golf world was announced back in June, US investors have moved to partner with the Tour. There are reports they are looking to keep the flush Saudis out, robbing them of crucial lucrative deals. 

However, the signing of Rahm ahead of the crunch meeting could be PIF’s ace up the sleeve.

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For Rahm, a switch to LIV Golf would come as a shock given his previous opposition as well as his strong allegiance to the Ryder Cup. Rahm, the 2023 Masters champion, was a cornerstone of Team Europe as they regained the iconic trophy in Rome this year, but joining LIV would place his future participation in doubt. 

After joining LIV Golf, the likes of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have become ineligible for selection by Luke Donald. Rahm would be giving up a lot, although such a lucrative offer may prove too good to turn down.

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