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Man Utd ‘will have to fork out staggering £20m to hire Dan Ashworth as Newcastle place transfer guru on gardening leave’

MANCHESTER UNITED face a £20million bill to lure transfer guru Dan Ashworth to Old Trafford.

According to reports, the sporting director of Newcastle United asked to leave St James’ Park following his side’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday.

Newcastle United are reportedly demanding £20million plus in compensation for football director Dan Ashworth

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Newcastle United are reportedly demanding £20million plus in compensation for football director Dan AshworthCredit: Getty

However, the Toon will demand a compensation fee should he move before the end of his contract.

Ashworth’s current deal doesn’t end until 2026.

And The Telegraph claim Newcastle will demand a package of at least £20million, if the Red Devils want him to start work before the stipulated length of his gardening leave.

That sum to release a football director from their role is almost unheard of in the modern game.

Newcastle remained firm when Man Utd’s interest in the 52-year-old was revealed.

They claimed they were “very well protected” should a rival attempt to poach Ashworth from them.

According to The Athletic, the ex-Brighton technical director has already been placed on gardening leave.

Football correspondent Daniel Ornstein wrote on X: “Dan Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave by Newcastle.

“Follows request to leave as sporting director + join Man Utd. #NUFC want £20m. 52yo on full pay. #MUFC ready to wait as don’t intend to pay what they deem unrealistic sum @TheAthleticFC.”

The news comes after Eddie Howe revealed his fears Ashworth will steal Newcastle’s transfer secrets and take them to Manchester United.

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Put to him that it doesn’t bode well if Ashworth is privy to sensitive information, Howe said: “Your concerns are relevant and I share the opinion.

“He’s in a position of power, with a lot of intelligence and information.

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“I want a quick resolution but I’m not in control of it.

“There has to be a line drawn and things have to move forward.”

SunSport exclusively revealed Ashworth is already considering who would be part of his Old Trafford, and wants to hire chief analyst Kyle Macaulay who currently works for Chelsea.

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