Man Utd: Ashworth makes Fernandes decision as new sporting director ‘plots £200m transfer cull’

Lewis Oldham
Ashworth Fernandes Man Utd
Dan Ashworth and Bruno Fernandes with Manchester United's badge.

New Manchester United sporting director Dan Ashworth is reportedly ‘plotting a brutal £200m transfer cull’ and has made a decision on Bruno Fernandes.

Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed his purchase of a 27.7% stake in the Premier League giants earlier this year.

As part of this deal, the INEOS chief has taken control of footballing matters at Old Trafford and has been focused on overhauling their recruitment team in recent months.

Chief executive Omar Berrada and technical director Jason Wilcox have been recruited, while Ashworth has been viewed as the final piece of the jigsaw.

The 53-year-old only joined Newcastle in 2022 but was placed on gardening leave by the Premier League after he made it clear that he wanted to join Man Utd.

The two Premier League clubs have been deep in discussions over a compensation package for months and an ‘agreement’ was finally reached earlier this week.

READ: Man Utd… Rashford, Casemiro sold and Mount stays as Ratcliffe gets rid of 11 in summer fire sale

Ashworth is reportedly able to start work immediately and this gives Man Utd a huge boost ahead of what’s expected to be a busy summer transfer window.

A report from The Mirror claims Ashworth is ‘plotting a £200m transfer cull’ as he looks to raise funds for signings, with a new striker, centre-back and midfielder among their priorities.

Raphael Varane, Anthony Martial and Brandon Williams have already departed the club as free agents, but Ratcliffe, Ashworth and Co. are understood to be open to letting most of their current squad leave this summer.

United had been expected to build their team around Portugal international Bruno Fernandes, but he has been linked with Bundesliga giants as he attempts to seal an improved contract.

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The report from The Mirror claims Man Utd would be willing to sell Fernandes – who has also been linked with Saudi Pro League clubs – this summer on one condition. They explain.

‘United are looking to move on several more players to raise funds for upgrades, with three positions – centre-back, midfielder and striker – viewed as priorities in this window.

‘In terms of outgoings, United will, in effect, listen to offers for most of their squad, with the exception of Andre Onana, Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez, Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Hojlund and Amad Diallo. United will even consider a sizable offer for skipper Bruno Fernandes, although he is expected to stay and sign a new deal.

‘Seven players United want to offload are Casemiro, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Christian Eriksen, Antony, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood, with the dream scenario for United being able to sell all of them to raise in the region of £200m, giving them a transfer spend of £250m, including the original £50m budget.’