Newcastle pick ‘preferred’ Ashworth replacement amid Man Utd links with the ‘job his to turn down’

Lewis Oldham
Newcastle Ashworth Freedman
Dan Ashworth and Dougie Freedman.

Crystal Palace chief Dougie Freedman has emerged as Newcastle United’s ‘preferred’ candidate to replace Manchester United-bound Dan Ashworth.

Newcastle United are in the market for a new sporting director as Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave amid interest from Man Utd.

Ashworth only joined Newcastle in 2022 but he has a good relationship with Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and has made it clear that he wants to join the Premier League giants.

Ratcliffe is in the process of overhauling Man Utd’s recruitment model ahead of next season and the INEOS chief wants to partner Ashworth with chief executive Omar Berrada and technical director Jason Wilcox.

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Newcastle and Man Utd are in talks over a compensation package for Ashworth. They remain far apart over a fee but the Red Devils are reportedly ‘still planning’ to have him on board before next season.

At Newcastle, they are pushing ahead with their efforts to replace Ashworth and according to The Daily Mail, Palace chief Freedman is ‘leading the race’ for the sporting director role at St James’ Park.

‘Dougie Freedman is down to the final three candidates for the role of Newcastle’s sporting director, and Notebook understands he is the preferred choice of some inside the club. Sources have gone as far to suggest the job could be his to turn down, but nothing has yet been agreed.

‘Freedman currently occupies the same position at Crystal Palace and is also wanted by Manchester United. We understand there would be no issue over compensation.

‘However, while the interest from United would be for a recruitment role and working beneath a sporting and technical director, the remit at Newcastle is wider.

‘Freedman has an excellent reputation within the game and his signings at Palace include Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise. Newcastle hope to make an appointment in time for the summer transfer window.’

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Regarding potential transfers, the same report claims Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo ‘could be leaning towards’ a move to Newcastle this summer.

‘Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo is wanted by Newcastle. The 26-year-old is a free agent this summer and he and his representatives are considering wide interest from home and abroad.

‘However, Adarabioyo is said to be aware of how Newcastle would see his role at St James’ Park and, according to sources, he could be leaning towards a move to the North-East, especially given the prospect of working under a coach like Eddie Howe.’

More: Newcastle United | Manchester United | Dan Ashworth