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Man Utd: Dan Ashworth ‘picks out first signing’ to stick knife into Newcastle | Football | Sport

Manchester United have reportedly agreed to pursue Juventus defender Gleison Bremer following a recommendation from incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth. The Red Devils are yet to agree compensation with Newcastle United for Ashworth – who is on gardening leave – but they are said to already be under his influence.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has identified the Magpies chief as his sporting director in United’s new-look structure. Omar Berrada is already in place as chief executive.

Jason Wilcox is expected to arrive as technical director alongside a new performance director, the club’s top target for which is currently unknown.

United are reportedly attempting to bring Ashworth to Old Trafford in time for the first summer transfer window under the INEOS banner.

But the 53-year-old is claimed to have already recommended a player on the club’s transfer shortlist ahead of a potential defensive shake-up.

According to Tuttosport, United are moving forward with plans to sign Bremer after receiving the green light from Ashworth.

The M16 giants have reportedly tracked the Brazil international for months and have now informed Juventus that they are prepared to pay up to £43million for his signature.

Juve are said to be demanding a fee between £51m and £60m for Bremer, who has started 28 of 29 Serie A games this season, missing one through suspension.

However, the report adds that Juventus technical director Cristiano Giuntoli is under pressure to offload a high-profile player this summer to ease the club’s financial concerns.

And United allegedly hold a strong belief that they can wrap up a deal for the 27-year-old to bolster Erik ten Hag’s defence.

Any move could come as bad news for Newcastle after the Tyneside outfit’s interest, potentially driven by Ashworth, last summer.

Eddie Howe will likely be on the hunt for a centre-back, with Sven Botman out for several months with an ACL injury.

But United will also be active in that department. Raphael Varane is set to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer when his contract expires in June.

The French World Cup winner isn’t in talks over a new deal amid suggestions he would have to accept a cut to his £340,000-a-week salary.

Jonny Evans is also out of contract this summer, while Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are entering the final 12 months of their deals.

Reports suggest Ten Hag is eyeing a right-sided and left-sided centre-half to partner Lisandro Martinez and provide the Argentine with suitable cover.

Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, OGC Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo and Atalanta’s Giorgio Scalvini are among those also linked.

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