Given Manchester United’s interest, Newcastle placed sporting director Dan Ashworth on gardening leave.


Dan Ashworth, who told Newcastle about Man Utd’s interest last week, has requested to go due to interest from Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Ashworth is INEOS’s top choice for the position of sporting director, and should Man Utd want him to start right away, it’s believed Newcastle might want for more than £10 million.

On Sunday, the 52-year-old expressed his desire to depart to the Tyneside club.

After completing his agreement for a 25 percent ownership in the club, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has the Newcastle chief at the top of his list to lead his new football operation at Old Trafford.

Ashworth has not yet received a formal approach, but one is anticipated this week.

Last weekend, Ashworth told Newcastle that Manchester United was interested.

Newcastle has not placed a price on Ashworth’s services, but if Manchester United wishes to buy out his contract and he can begin working before the summer transfer window, it is believed to be in excess of £10 million.

Exactly two years ago, Ashworth moved to Newcastle from a comparable position at Brighton; Newcastle had to pay compensation to get him.

At his news conference on Friday, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe demanded a speedy resolution to the issue and acknowledged that it was concerning that Ashworth, who had access to confidential hiring data, was being contacted by a Premier League opponent.

Neville: Should Man Utd fail to pay Ashworth, they might lose an additional £100 million.

“Should Man Utd spend more money to acquire Ashworth right now? If they are interested in that sporting director and would like him to begin immediately.

“I’m positive that he will be subject to limitations, such as being unable to work in the same location at another club for a whole year.

Man United would respond, ‘We will have to pay for it because we can’t wait that long.'” Man Utd has to appoint someone before the upcoming transfer window.

“You may lose an additional £100 million if you don’t pay the £10 million to remove Ashworth and make a mistake in another window. That’s why it’s critical that they let the appropriate individuals in.

“Man Utd must put an end to the rot. Man Utd called every club in Europe and said, “Hey, we’re going to get paid a ton of money, it’s bingo time.”

“Ashworth won’t allow that to happen – he’s quite resilient and measured around those situations.”


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