Man Utd ‘wobble’ over Ashworth deal as one ‘concern’ raises ‘alarm bells’ amid ‘collapse’ claim

Lewis Oldham
Dan Ashworth with Newcastle and Man Utd badges
Dan Ashworth with Newcastle and Man Utd badges.

According to reports, Manchester United’s pursuit of Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth ‘could collapse’ as they have a major ‘concern’.

Man Utd are in the process of overhauling the recruitment team at Old Trafford following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a minority stake in the Premier League giants

Ashworth ‘collapse’?

The INEOS chief has only bought a 27.7% share in Man Utd but he has taken control of footballing matters at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe has overseen the appointment of Omar Berrada, who has become Man Utd’s new chief executive. The British businessman is also attempting to snatch sporting director Ashworth from Newcastle.

Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave by Newcastle, who are demanding around £20m from Man Utd to complete a deal. Unsurprisingly, the Red Devils are unwilling to meet this asking price and they are understood to currently be in negotiations with their Premier League rivals over a compromise.

But according to a report from Football Insider, ‘Man Utd’s move for Ashworth could collapse as Sandro Tonali raises alarm bells’.

It is claimed that Ashworth’s potential involvement in the Tonali transfer is making Man Utd ‘wobble’ over an agreement. The report adds.

‘Man Utd are believed to be “very concerned” over his handling of the Magpies’ signing of Tonali last summer (2023).

‘Alarm bells are ringing at Old Trafford over how Newcastle paid £60million to sign Tonali from AC Milan but he was soon banned for 10 months for betting rule breaches after being charged by the Italian FA.’

READ MORE: Five reasons Man Utd fans should be happy with Jason Wilcox as technical director

“Prepared to wait…”

Despite this, journalist Ben Jacobs has been quick to reassure Man Utd supporters that an agreement with Newcastle for Ashworth will eventually be reached.

“As for Ashworth, Manchester United are no closer to reaching an agreement but it’s still seen as a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ a deal is reached.

“Things probably won’t be resolved until Newcastle line up Ashworth’s replacement. It could be sorted this month, but Manchester United don’t want to pay £20m to get Ashworth starting this summer. Sources have always been clear they are prepared to wait.

“The priority, however, is to have him begin at worst in time for the January 2025 window and ideally on 1 September. It will be easier to negotiate with Newcastle once they have a replacement in mind since they won’t want a situation where they are paying that person plus Ashworth for a prolonged period of time.”

READ MORE: Man Utd Academy graduates ranked as full scale of Jason Wilcox job is clear

Regarding Man Utd’s interest in Jason Wilcox, Jacobs added: “Manchester United have made a formal offer for Southampton’s director of football Jason Wilcox.

“They want him to join as technical director and Wilcox has made it clear he’s keen on the move. He views it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, even though he’ll be taking up, in title, a role working under incoming sporting director Dan Ashworth (presuming a compensation package is finally agreed with Newcastle).

“Wilcox has now resigned and has a 12-month notice period, but Manchester United are still hopeful of agreeing a package to get him sooner.”