All-time GOAT and former Newcastle United star tipped to replace Dan Ashworth

Former Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)Former Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Former Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United are searching for a sporting director to replace the outgoing Dan Ashworth

Paolo Maldini is a potential candidate to replace Dan Ashworth at Newcastle United, according to reports. Viewed as one of the greatest defenders ever, the Italian - who spent his entire career at AC Milan - has developed into a capable sporting director in recent years. The 55-year-old has been a free agent since leaving the Serie A giants last summer.

Newcastle recently brushed shoulders with Maldini in the race for Sven Botman two years ago. The former defender admitted Botman was Milan’s top target before the Dutchman sealed a £32million move to St James’ Park.

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The i now claim Maldino is a leading candidate to replace Ashworth as sporting director. As it stands, Newcastle have the 53-year-old on gardening leave following an approach from Manchester United.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe headhunted Ashworth as his No.1 target for the role once he assumed control of football matters at Old Trafford. While the two parties are yet to agree on a compensation package, Toon chiefs are already targeting his replacement.

Also named as a potential option is ex-Newcastle star Hugo Viana. The 41-year-old - who spent four years on Tyneside in the early 00s - has been Sporting Lisbon’s director of football since 2018.

His playing career never worked out as planned at Newcastle but he could find retribution in the boardroom. However, Paul Mitchell, recently in the hot seat at Monaco, is named as the Magpies’ No.1 target. Mitchell was linked with the Man United role before their successful approach for Ashworth. He spent three years on the French Riviera after earning his stripes in England at MK Dons, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.

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