Man Utd finally ‘agree deal’ with Newcastle as Ashworth is expected to begin role with ‘immediate effect’

Joe Williams
Man Utd Dan Ashworth
Dan Ashworth remains in limbo between Newcastle and Man Utd.

Man Utd have ‘agreed’ a deal to bring Dan Ashworth in from Newcastle as their new sporting director, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein.

The Red Devils are undergoing a summer of change after Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Premier League club from the Glazer family.

Omar Berrada has joined as their new CEO from arch-rivals Man City, while Jason Wilcox arrived towards the end of last season as new Man Utd technical director.

Ashworth has always been Ratcliffe’s top target as sporting director and now it looks like he has finally landed his man after months of negotiations.

It had been previously reported that Newcastle wanted around £20m from Man Utd but the Red Devils were only willing to pay half that amount in order to release Ashworth.

But now The Athletic journalist Ornstein insists that Man Utd ‘have agreed a deal’ to appoint Ashworth as their new sporting director after being ‘delayed by the clubs struggling to compromise on a compensation package’.

Ornstein adds:

‘The 53-year-old is expected to commence his position in the new-look Manchester United structure with immediate effect.

‘Ashworth intended to take Newcastle to arbitration to help facilitate his move with, as reported by The Athletic, Manchester United supporting his bid and pledging to pay his legal costs.

‘He is set to have overall responsibility for football performance, recruitment and operations at the 20-time champions of England, with technical director Jason Wilcox reporting to him.

‘Ashworth will himself report into Sir Dave Brailsford, who Ratcliffe has tasked with undertaking a review of the United’s football operations.’

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Ratcliffe and INEOS made another big decision after the season finished by choosing to keep Erik ten Hag at the club following an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

And former Man Utd striker Teddy Sheringham admits he was a bit surprised by the hierarchy’s decision to keep the Dutchman on for another season.

Sheringham said recently: “I’m quite surprised with the decision to keep Erik ten Hag to be honest. It could have gone either way, but Ten Hag had a really poor season in the Premier League – losing 14 games – and didn’t have the consistency that Manchester United really look for and expect.

“At the end of the day though, he’s won the FA Cup in brilliant fashion by beating Manchester City in the final – it couldn’t have been any harder on paper. It could have gone either way – they could have easily said that their Premier League form wasn’t good enough.

“I reckon they were flipping a coin of whether to let him go or not, and they’ve decided to carry on.”