Newcastle ‘deal’ to ‘pave way’ for Man Utd ‘agreement’ for Ashworth as Ratcliffe ‘closes in’

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd Ashworth
Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dan Ashworth with Manchester United's badge.

According to reports, Newcastle United chief Dan Ashworth is ‘closing in’ on a move to Manchester United to become their sporting director.

Ashworth left Brighton to join Newcastle in 2022 as Saudi-backed PIF headhunted him following its takeover of the Premier League club.

The 53-year-old is regarded as one of the world’s leading sporting directors, and his spell at Newcastle is set to be shortlived amid interest from Man Utd.

He has a close relationship with new Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is keen to link up with his confidant at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe is in the process of overseeing a major overhaul at Old Trafford. Several changes have already been made as chief executive Omar Berrada and technical director Jason Wilcox have been recruited.

Ashworth is viewed as the final piece of the jigsaw and it has anticipated for a while that he would eventually make the move to Man Utd.

Earlier this year, Ashworth was placed on gardening leave by Newcastle after he made it clear to the hierarchy at St James’ Park that he wanted to join Man Utd.

Newcastle have set their asking price for Ashworth at £20m, but Man Utd are yet to come close to matching this fee.

Despite this, Newcastle are stepping up their efforts to replace Ashworth, with Crystal Palace chief Dougie Freedman among two leading candidates to step in for the Man Utd-bound director. 

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According to a new report from Football Insider, Man Utd are ‘closing in on an agreement’ for Ashworth and they ‘remain hopeful of securing his arrival this summer’.

It is noted that Man Utd ‘could see a breakthrough in negotiations with Newcastle United in the near future’ as their Premier League rivals ‘prepare to appoint Freedman as his replacement’.

‘That deal will pave the way for Ashworth, who was placed on gardening leave in February, to complete his move to Man United under the new INEOS regime.

‘The two clubs have been embroiled in a row over compensation since he agreed terms with United – and it has been widely reported that Newcastle are demanding up to £20million.

‘But the Magpies are expected to relent in negotiations and accept a lower fee for the transfer guru. Ashworth’s contract at St James’ Park is set to run until June 2026.

‘Man United are keen to have him in place for the summer transfer window as they plot a radical overhaul of the squad in the off-season.’

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