Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure they appoint their chosen candidates as they overhaul Manchester United’s sporting structure, according to reports. The stance will help leap a significant hurdle in the expected pursuit of Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth.
Sir Jim has reportedly identified Ashworth as his priority option to replace John Murtough as United’s new sporting director in a new structure.
The Newcastle man has an impressive track record at St James’ Park, West Bromwich Albion, Brighton and Hove Albion and the FA.
In December, The Athletic claimed that Newcastle would demand seven-figure compensation to part ways with Ashworth, who only arrived on Tyneside in 2022.
However, fresh reports suggest that won’t be a problem for Sir Jim, who is ready to get ruthless once his £1.3billion deal for a 25 per cent stake in United is ratified.
During a Q&A session on Thursday, The Athletic reporter David Ornstein offered insight into INEOS’ mindset as they prepare to enact change at Old Trafford.
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Sir Jim and INEOS are said to be prepared to pay what is required to lure their top targets away from their respective clubs for key positions in United’s new hierarchy.
The report adds that there is a feeling among figures in the industry that United plan to appoint a new sporting director and head of recruitment to work with Sir Dave Brailsford, Jean-Claude Blanc and Sir Jim.
Ashworth appears to be the chosen candidate for the former, while ex-Tottenham Hotspur chief Paul Mitchell has been heavily linked with the head of recruitment role.
Former Liverpool duo Michael Edwards and Julian Ward, Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman and Atletico Madrid’s Andrea Berta are also reportedly on the club’s shortlist.