Man Utd: Ratcliffe ‘pays price’ with Ashworth transfer blow after ‘final offer’ rejected by Newcastle

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd Ashworth
Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dan Ashworth with Manchester United's badge.

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been slammed for letting his pursuit of sporting director Dan Ashworth drag on this long.

At the start of this year, Ratcliffe completed his purchase of a 27.7% stake in the Premier League giants and he’s taken control of footballing matters at Old Trafford.

Ashworth talks drag on…

One of Ratcliffe’s priorities in recent months has been to acquire Ashworth, who has been Newcastle United’s sporting director since 2022.

The 53-year-old is viewed as the final piece of the jigsaw as Man Utd have already brought in chief executive Omar Berrada and technical director Jason Wilcox.

Newcastle have made it difficult for Man Utd to appoint Ashworth, as the sporting director has been placed on gardening leave and they have set their asking price at £20m.

Man Utd are unwilling to match this fee and it’s been claimed that their ‘final offer’ – which is reportedly only worth £3m – has been rejected by Premier League rivals Newcastle.

Earlier this week, a report from The Telegraph claimed Man Utd are ‘refusing to be held to ransom’ by Newcastle.

‘Manchester United are sticking to their valuation of around £3 million for Dan Ashworth and are refusing to be held to ransom over Newcastle’s compensation demands for their sporting director.

‘United are nowhere near close to agreeing a deal for Ashworth, as Newcastle want £15million plus add-ons for him to be released from his contract after two years at St James’ Park. He has been on gardening leave since it was made clear he wanted to join United.’

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In response to this news, ex-Everton CEO Keith Wyness claimed Man Utd are “paying the price” as Ashworth should have been secured “months ago”.

“Ratcliffe should’ve got in a room with Newcastle and they shouldn’t have left until a deal was done,” Wyness told Football Insider. “That should’ve been done weeks, months ago.

“They haven’t done that, and now they’re paying the penalty. I don’t understand why they’re not doing that. It’s not the hardest thing in the world.

“You’ve just got to pay the price, and that’s what Man United have to do.

“How long could it take? Already, it’s impacting recruitment. It takes experience to get in the room and get it hammered out. That’s where I’d like to have seen another piece of decisive management coming from Ratcliffe, but I’m yet to see it.”

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