Man Utd boost with Newcastle tipped to ‘settle’ for Dan Ashworth ‘compromise’ after ‘absurd’ claim

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd target Ashworth
Manchester United are chasing Dan Ashworth.

According to David Ornstein, Manchester United and Newcastle United remain in talks over a deal for sporting director Dan Ashworth.

The 52-year-old has been lauded as one of the best directors in world football and he has done great work at Newcastle since joining the Premier League club in 2022.

The Magpies would have hoped to keep Ashworth for many years but he is being pursued by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Man Utd and he is keen on the move.

Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 27.7% stake in Man Utd has been completed and he has now taken control of footballing matters at Old Trafford.

Major changes are in the process of being made at Man Utd and Ratcliffe wants Ashworth to be their sporting director.

Ashworth was placed on gardening leave over the weekend and Newcastle want Man Utd to pay £20m for his services. This demand has baffled Ratcliffe, who reckons this asking price is “absurd”. 

But a report from Football Insider now claims Newcastle are ‘likely to settle for a compromise’. They explain.

‘Talks are ongoing between both sides and a well-placed source has told Football Insider that Newcastle are likely to “compromise”.

‘It is believed the clubs are set to meet in the middle and get a deal done – but negotiations are likely to drag on.’

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Ornstein has also discussed the Ashworth saga during a Q&A for The Athletic. He has confirmed that Newcastle have “started their process” of finding a new director.

“Newcastle are just starting their process and it is more focused on what they want rather than who they want,” Ornstein answered.

“They will have some names in mind from England and abroad. Don’t forget they were recruiting for this position less than two years ago and plenty of that work will probably still come in handy. They will need to decide the type of person and skill set they are looking for and then draw up candidates to fit that profile.

“The owners will have their various ideas, as will other members of the hierarchy and, given the job he has done and the regard in which he is held, head coach Eddie Howe.

“I’m by no means suggesting it will be his choice — and from a club point of view, it is prudent to make this their call rather than the head coach’s — but he will have input on this, as he did with Ashworth.”

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Ornstein has also pointed out that Ratcliffe’s criticism of Newcastle has “certainly been noted at St James’ Park”.

“Manchester United are talking to Newcastle intending to reach an agreement to enable him to start with them. Newcastle want £20m, United don’t want to pay anywhere near that. So they’ll need to find a compromise and until that happens, his gardening leave will continue.” Ornstein said.

“I’m not sure if Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s comments yesterday will have a bearing on the situation but they were certainly noted at St James’ Park.”