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Newcastle boss Eddie Howe makes Dan Ashworth plea and confirms no Man Utd approach | Football | Sport

But in his pre-match media conference this morning (Friday), ahead of a home clash with Bournemouth on Saturday, Howe denied any knowledge of United making an offer. Pressed for an update on the situation, he replied: “Nothing as far as I’m aware. Obviously it’s been in the news a lot and usually with these things that means something is going to happen. But as we speak now, we’ve had no contact.”

And Howe, currently coping with an injury crisis as his side battle to rermain in the hunt for European football again next season, added he wanted Ashworth’s future to be clarified imminently. The former FA director of elite development is himself yet to comment on reports.

“It’s an unusual situation,” added Howe. “I’m used to speculation around players but this is different. Hopefully there’s a quick solution.”

 

Ashworth was deemed to be critical figure in tying down Howe to a long-term contract in August 2022, after he’d replaced Steve Bruce during the previous campaign. The decision arguably paid instant dividends, with the 46-year-old leading the Toon Army into the Champions League in his first full season at the helm.

But Howe also implied that Ashworth needed to remain longer in the north-east in order to be able to enjoy the true extent of his impact. A move to United would see him switch clubs after less than two years at Newcastle, having previously worked at West Brom and Brighton.

“It’s a difficult one when you’re in that role, you need longevity to actually see the fruits of your labour,” added Howe. “People have done it best in the Premier League with a period of stability. It takes a long time to get those processes right. Let’s see what happens.”

But Howe was also defiant over how the club would cope if a departure materialised. “Football always moves on very quickly and I say that regarding the manager’s position,” he said.

“Newcastle is a huge football club and will continue to work in a very efficient way. We’ve got some very capable people here, in all departments, so we carry on. There has to be a succession plan. For everyone. There is a strategy from the board above.”

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