Dan Ashworth: Man Utd, Newcastle ‘far apart’ but ‘plausible’ Magpies call might ‘soften stance’

Jason Soutar
Eddie Howe, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dan Ashworth with the Newcastle and Manchester United badges
Eddie Howe, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dan Ashworth with the Newcastle and Manchester United badges

Manchester United and Newcastle “are still far apart” in negotiations to send director of football Dan Ashworth to Old Trafford, as per David Ornstein.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to bring in the Newcastle director but is refusing to pay the £20million compensation fee the Magpies are demanding.

Newcastle’s stance will soften if…

Excluding the hurdles provided by Eddie Howe’s side, Ratcliffe has got straight down to business after buying a 25 per cent stake in the Red Devils.

New chief executive Omar Berrada has agreed to join from Manchester City, while Southampton’s Jason Wilcox will come in as technical director.

It has gone a bit quiet regarding Ashworth and Manchester United and Ornstein has provided something of an update on the situation, saying that Newcastle’s stance might “soften” if they find a replacement.

“The clubs are still far apart so we’ll have to see if that gap can be breached,” he said during a Q&A on The Athletic. “Should Newcastle get a replacement in, perhaps their stance will soften a little. I don’t know that but it’s plausible.

READ MORE: Man Utd-bound Ashworth slammed for ‘disastrous’ deal as difficult Newcastle negotations stall

“Equally, perhaps Man Utd would be willing to pay a little more than what they intended but I don’t imagine it will be anywhere near the £20m Newcastle want.

“What’s more likely is that Man Utd reach an agreement soon with Southampton for Jason Wilcox and he comes in ahead of the window to work with INEOS, existing club personnel and Omar Berrada once he finishes gardening leave in the summer.

“As highly as Ashworth is regarded and as unwanted as this situation is for Man Utd, his role is more about building a club, structures and processes than specialising in recruitment.

“So it’s not a mad rush, as shown by Man Utd’s willingness to wait for him if needed.”

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