Man Utd blow as Ratcliffe ‘accepts’ Ashworth transfer problem as director’s ‘likely’ arrival time emerges

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd Dan Ashworth
Dan Ashworth remains in limbo between Newcastle and Man Utd.

Manchester United’s summer recruitment will reportedly ‘not be up to full speed’ until Dan Ashworth has arrived and his appointment is not imminent.

INEOS chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed his purchase of a 27.7% stake in Man Utd earlier this year. He is only a minority shareholder but he has taken control of footballing matters at Old Trafford.

The new Man Utd co-owner has had a busy few months and one of his priorities was to overhaul the club’s recruitment model.

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

Ashworth has only been with Newcastle as their sporting director since 2022 but he has a close relationship with Ratcliffe and has made it clear that he wants to join Man Utd.

Newcastle are not making it easy for their Premier League rivals, though. They are asking for £20m for Ashworth and this saga is reportedly set for arbitration as the two clubs are remain far apart in negotiations. 

But in a blow to Man Utd, a report from ESPN claims their transfer plans are negatively impacted by their prolonged pursuit of Ashworth.

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The report explains.

‘United’s recruitment team have drawn up a list of potential targets to strengthen all areas of the squad with centre-back, central midfield and striker made priority positions.

‘However, sources have told ESPN that club bosses have accepted recruitment “will not be up to full speed” until Ashworth is in place.

‘United had hoped to have the 53-year-old in position before the summer, but it’s now likely his arrival will be delayed until after the transfer window.’

This has been backed up by journalist Ben Jacobs, who claims Ashworth’s arrival will “likely” come “after the summer window is closed”.

“What could he do under this changed structure, that’s only really going to start in full and enforce this summer, when people like CEO Omar Berrada come in, when Dan Ashworth eventually arrives, likely now after the summer window is closed,” Jacobs told GiveMeSport.

“But that’s another consideration as well. And sometimes, in the end, the best path for stability is actually not changing and giving yourself continuity, given that the INEOS’ part of Manchester United, who are controlling the sporting side, are brand new themselves as well.”

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