Man Utd may not have to wait for Dan Ashworth as Newcastle agreement ‘expected’ | Football | Sport

Manchester United’s pursuit of Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth is rapidly progressing ahead of official confirmation of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25 per cent stake in the club, according to reports. Ashworth has been selected as the best fit to enter INEOS’ new-look hierarchy at Old Trafford.

The 52-year-old, who only joined Newcastle from Brighton and Hove Albion in 2022, would represent the second major coup of Ratcliffe’s sporting shake-up.

Last month, United confirmed that Omar Berrada was leaving Manchester City to become the club’s new chief executive, replacing Richard Arnold.

Now, Ratcliffe and co.’s search for a new sporting director to helm the recruitment team has planted them on the road to St. James’ Park.

Express Sport runs through Wednesday’s updates on United’s plans to appoint Ashworth ahead of their first summer transfer window under the INEOS regime.

Man Utd will need to cough up

Ashworth won’t come cheap. According to the Telegraph, Newcastle are prepared to dig their heels in over his departure by demanding a hefty compensation package.

It’s claimed that United may need to pay more than £10million to lure Ashworth from Tyneside, with Newcastle “well protected” by the terms of his contract.

The agreement is also said to contain a 12-month gardening leave clause should he decide to switch to Old Trafford, which would delay his start until the end of the 2024/25 season.

Newcastle reportedly insist they will stick firm to that unless United cough up even more money in compensation to ensure he’s in place this summer.

Ashworth informs Newcastle

The Athletic report that Ashworth has now informed Newcastle that United have approached him in regard to the sporting director position.

The situation is expected to develop rapidly, as it has already, and formal contact between the two clubs is set to take place soon.

Ashworth is reportedly open to the opportunity should United and Newcastle reach an agreement over his move.

And Ratcliffe appears ready to pay what it will take to secure his priority appointment at the start of a new dawn in M16.

Optimism over quick agreement

According to the Mail, the two clubs are expected to shake hands on a deal for Ashworth as early as next week.

United are reportedly preparing their formal approach after contacting the former Brighton and West Bromwich Albion chief, and a quick conclusion is the universally preferred outcome.

While The Athletic stated Ashworth was open to the opportunity, the Mail add that he wants to leave Newcastle for the Red Devils after not having as much control as initially expected.

There has been no fallout with the Magpies, but he has been persuaded to jump ship by the project on INEOS’ hands at Old Trafford.

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