Man Utd news: Red Devils close to Dan Ashworth after Newcastle exit demand

Cameron Smith

Dan Ashworth has reportedly told Newcastle United that he wants to leave his role as sporting director at St James’ Park amid heavy interest from Manchester United.

Ashworth, 52, joined the Magpies from Brighton & Hove Albion after being handpicked for the role following the club’s takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, and is expected to play a key role at Man Utd if he joins the Red Devils.

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Ashworth was responsible for the signings of Alexander Isak, Sven Botman and Anthony Gordon at Newcastle and he has been identified as Man Utd’s primary candidate to become the new sporting director at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are embarking on a new era under INEOS and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s management, and Ashworth is seen as a priority appointment following the capture of Omar Berrada from Manchester City; Berrarda will become Man Utd’s new chief executive in a major coup for the club.

FootballTransfers exclusively reported that Ashworth was keen to join Man Utd back in December and The Daily Mail have now revealed that he has informed Newcastle of his desire to leave.

According to Craig Hope, Man Utd must now meet the buy-out clause in his Newcastle contract if they want to bring in the Englishman.

Fabrizio Romano has also confirmed that Erik ten Hag’s side are keen on landing Ashworth within the next few weeks. He posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Manchester United are prepared to push again next week in order to bring Dan Ashworth to the club.

“Ashworth has already accepted, United will now insist in negotiations with Newcastle to agree on compensation.

“Dan Ashworth and Jason Wilcox, both on INEOS list for United.”

Gary Neville hopeful about Dan Ashworth arrival

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville is hopeful that Ashworth’s possible arrival will ensure a positive change at Old Trafford.

He told the Sky Bet Stick to Football Podcast: “If Dan does come in, I do think there’s a chance that the performance mentality will improve, the mentality that they do have, [it] could run through the club quite quickly.

“I’m not saying Dan is going to be a success at Manchester United, but if you’ve got the guy in from Manchester City [Berrada] and now Dan Ashworth, at least you’ve got people in roles that belong, as they’ve not had that in the last 10 years.

Dan Ashworth worked at the FA from 2012 to 2018
© IMAGO – Dan Ashworth worked at the FA from 2012 to 2018

“[With England] he started with the Under-21s, the Under-18s and with the women’s team. You think of the success of all those teams in recent years, but that has been in the making for eight years, and it all started when Dan came in.

“I’m not saying he’s responsible for what happened, but he had a big influence with the FA. They were a terrible organisation from a professionalism point of view, and I felt what he did, he put processes in place where they’re now structured and organised.”

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