Man Utd have ‘big Ashworth expectation’ despite there being ‘no movement’ in Newcastle talks

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd target Dan Ashworth
Dan Ashworth is wanted by Man Utd as their new sporting director.

According to reports, Manchester United ‘still plan’ to have Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth on board before next season.

The Red Devils are in the process of overhauling their recruitment model following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a minority stake in the Premier League giants.

The INEOS chief only has a share of around 25% but he has taken control of footballing matters at Old Trafford and he is looking to take the club forward as they have been poorly run in recent years.

Keen to ensure Man Utd have elite operators in various key roles, Omar Berrada has been snatched from Man City to be their chief executive, while ex-Southampton chief Jason Wilcox has been appointed as their technical director.

Man Utd are not finished there, though. They are also looking to raid Newcastle United for sporting director Ashworth.

Ashworth has only been at Newcastle since 2022 but he has a good relationship with Ratcliffe and has made it clear that he wants to join Man Utd.

Newcastle have placed the 53-year-old on gardening leave as they demand £20m for his services. Man Utd meanwhile have been in talks with their Premier League rivals over a compromise as they are unwilling to meet their asking price.

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‘Big Ashworth expectation’

Earlier this month, The Telegraph delivered bad news for Man Utd supporters as their club are ‘at least £13 million apart from Newcastle’ with only £2m being offered at the moment.

‘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.

‘United confirmed the appointment of Jason Wilcox as technical director on Friday after agreeing a compensation package with Southampton and are prepared to wait until the autumn or end of the calendar year if necessary for Ashworth.’

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Football Insider‘s ‘big update’ on Ashworth is more promising as ‘Man Utd still plan to have him in place for the summer transfer window’.

‘A well-placed source has told Football Insider that there has been “no movement” in negotiations in recent weeks but there is a “big” expectation a deal will be agreed soon.

‘Talks are ongoing between both sides and sources say that Newcastle are likely to “compromise” amid widespread reports of demands reaching £20million.

‘Ashworth is under contract until June 2026 and it is believed the Tyneside club are unwilling to let him go for a knockdown figure.

‘It is believed Ashworth will lead recruitment at Old Trafford when he arrives, with Jason Wilcox – who has already joined the club from Southampton – working under him.

‘Sources say Ashworth and Wilcox feel the spine of Erik ten Hag’s side needs radical improvement in the off-season.’

More: Man Utd | Dan Ashworth | Sir Jim Ratcliffe