Man Utd move for Ashworth ‘gets ugly’ as Newcastle accuse Red Devils of ‘tapping up’

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

Dan Ashworth will have to go to arbitration in order to get his move to Man Utd from Newcastle over the line, according to reports.

The Red Devils are set for major changes over the summer transfer window after Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Premier League

Ratcliffe, who was given control of the football operation as part of the agreeement with the Glazers, has already appointed Omar Berrada as the club’s new CEO, while Jason Wilcox has arrived as the new technical director.

INEOS have also identified Ashworth as their top target to become their sporting director but Newcastle and Man Utd are yet to come to an agreement over compensation owed to the Geordies.

A report in the Daily Telegraph in April revealed exactly how talks over Ashworth were going:

‘Newcastle want around £15 million plus a further £5 million in add-ons for Ashworth, who is currently on gardening leave after stepping down as the club’s sporting director in February amid the interest from Old Trafford.

‘United are proposing compensation around the £2 million mark, similar to the fee Newcastle paid to prise Ashworth away from Brighton two years ago and less than the £4 million reported at the time.

‘Unless there is a significant softening of Newcastle’s stance, there is little expectation at Old Trafford of Ashworth starting before the summer but they are prepared to sit tight if necessary.

‘It is understood United would be willing to pay a small uplift on that £2 million figure if there was the prospect of bringing in Ashworth before the summer but they have no intention of being strong-armed.’

With no agreement, The Athletic‘s David Ornstein insisted that Ashworth is ‘taking’ Newcastle to arbitration in order to ‘facilitate his move’ to Man Utd.

And now Football Insider claim that Ashworth ‘will face arbitration to seal his exit’ from Newcastle as his move to Man Utd ‘gets ugly’.

‘The sporting director has claimed that he was sacked rather than resigned, as he was placed on gardening leave in February.

‘Newcastle, meanwhile, have claimed Ashworth was ‘tapped up’ by Man United before the club were aware of their interest in tempting him away.’

Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has called Ashworth a “silly sod” after a report claimed that the Newcastle sporting director ‘inadvertently’ sent an email to the Magpies which informed them that he had been in contact with Berrada over a move to Old Trafford.

Jordan said: “Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s thinking is, ‘We’re Manchester United and we should be able to do precisely what we want when we want and irrespective of whatever contract Dan Ashworth has agreed.

“In any industry, including the chemical industry, which Jim Ratcliffe originates from, if you have senior executives in your business that will change the direction of your business when they go to a competitor, you put a lockout clause in there. It’s a standard form.

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“Because it’s la, la land football, Jim Ratcliffe is somehow suggesting that it should be different. Newcastle United did their job and the fool of a technical director signed a contract which he now doesn’t like.

“If Newcastle said, ‘Actually, we don’t feel like paying you this month.’ ‘What do you mean you don’t feel like paying me?’ ‘We just don’t.’ ‘But I’ve got a contract, you’ve got to pay me’.

“Now you’ve got a contract which goes the other way. You’ve got a notice period you silly sod. You’ve got to stay with it or negotiate your way out and the way you’re going to negotiate you way out is not sending emails to your current employers prejudicing your existing position so they get exasperated by it. It’s behaving properly and then getting Man United to pony up the money that you’re apparently worth.”

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