Man Utd director ‘heavily involved’ last summer ‘will take control’ of transfers amid Ashworth problems

Joe Williams
Man Utd target Dan Ashworth
Dan Ashworth is wanted by Man Utd as their new sporting director.

Man Utd director of player negotiations Matt Hargreaves ‘will take control’ of transfers in the summer with Dan Ashworth unlikely to be involved, according to reports.

There are likely to be major changes at Old Trafford over the summer after Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Red Devils earlier this year.

Man Utd are still struggling to strike an agreement with Newcastle

Man Utd announced on Tuesday that John Murtough is stepping down as football director with the Premier League club looking to go in a different direction.

The club said in a statement: “John Murtough is to step down from his position as football director of Manchester United and leave the club after almost 11 years in a variety of roles at Carrington.”

Omar Berrada will join from arch-rivals Man City in the summer as their new CEO, while Ratcliffe wants Newcastle sporting director Ashworth and Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox to lead the overhaul of the club’s recruitment department.

Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave at St James’ Park with the former Brighton sporting director keen on taking on transfer business at Old Trafford.

READ MORE: Hojlund tops dismal ranking of John Murtough’s 20 signings as Man Utd football director

It is believed Newcastle are looking for £20m to allow Ashworth to join Man Utd in the summer but the Red Devils are hoping to pay around half of that amount.

And now the Manchester Evening News claims that Hargreaves ‘will take control of Manchester United’s recruitment plans following the departure of John Murtough’.

There ‘remains uncertainty’ over Hargreaves’ long-term future at Old Trafford after he was ‘heavily involved in United’s discussions for signings last summer’.

But Ashworth is ‘not expected to be involved in recruitment this summer’ with Man Utd ‘yet to make any headway in discussions over a severance package’ with Newcastle.

The report adds that Murtough ‘was still heading up Man United’s recruitment plans prior to his resignation last week’ and that Ratcliffe’s ‘new plan’ is Hargreaves as Man Utd usually sort their summer transfer plan out at the end of January.

Fabrizio Romano: Dan Ashworth delay will hold up the club’s strategy

And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano admitted last week that the delay over Ashworth could make the “process slower in terms of the club’s strategy”.

Romano wrote on his Caught Offside column: “The negotiation with Newcastle is still ongoing for Dan Ashworth. It’s not been easy, as expected, but Man United are still working to have Ashworth and Jason Wilcox as soon as possible.

“This delay can of course make the process slower in terms of the club’s strategy, but the vision will always be there thanks to the co-owners and new people at the club.”