Man Utd: Ratcliffe ‘eager’ for Ashworth to do ‘due diligence’ on new manager after fresh Newcastle ‘talks’

Joe Williams
Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dan Ashworth
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is hoping to appoint Dan Ashworth ahead of a busy summer.

Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is still pushing hard to bring in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle as the Red Devils new sporting director, according to reports.

The Red Devils are set for major changes after Ratcliffe and INEOS completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of Man Utd from the Glazer family earlier this year.

Ratcliffe ramping up efforts to get Ashworth deal over the line

As part of the agreement Ratcliffe was given control of the football operation with the British billionaire looking to overhaul the club’s recruitment and invest in infrastructure, including the stadium.

The new Man Utd co-owner has already moved to bring in Omar Berrada as the club’s new CEO from arch-rivals Man City, while he wants to appoint Newcastle’s Ashworth as sporting director and Southampton’s Jason Wilcox as technical director.

Man Utd and Newcastle have been in negotiations since Ashworth was placed on gardening leave over the interest from Old Trafford but now HITC are reporting that Ratcliffe has ‘taken things further in recent weeks’.

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HITC journalist Graeme Bailey wrote:

HITC can confirm that Ratcliffe has taken things further in recent weeks by holding talks with Newcastle director Amanda Staveley, as the club clubs try and thrash out terms. The North East club have been demanding £20million to release Ashworth from his contract.’

Erik ten Hag is coming under increasing pressure to show Ratcliffe and INEOS why he should be kept on for next season after their disappointing 2-2 draw against Bournemouth on Saturday.

That result means Man Utd have now won just one of their last seven Premier League matches and Champions League qualification for next season is now a distant dream.

Ratcliffe a ‘big fan’ of Ten Hag’s work with young talent

And Bailey adds that one of the main reasons Ratcliffe wants to appoint Ashworth quickly is so he can oversee the ‘due diligence on potential new bosses’ if Man Utd decide to sack Ten Hag.

HITC can confirm that Ratcliffe is a big fan of many aspects of the work done by current first-team boss Erik Ten Hag – particularly with the bringing through young talent.

‘However, sources have always insisted to HITC that the decisive factor would be the form of the team and despite reaching the FA Cup semi-finals, United’s league form in recent weeks has been worrying to many at the club. They have won just one Premier League game in their last seven matches – form which has seen them drop to seventh.

HITC understands that United have been doing their due diligence on potential new bosses, in case their was the need to replace Ten Hag – but Ratcliffe is eager to have Ashworth overseeing the process.’

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