Dan Ashworth has already addressed his Newcastle United future as Manchester United plot approach

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Dan Ashworth has already addressed his future at Newcastle United as Manchester United plot approach.

Newcastle United are braced for an approach from Manchester United for sporting director Dan Ashworth.

The 52-year-old has emerged as a serious target for the Red Devils after the Premier League approved Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 25% stake, which will see him take control of the Old Trafford club's football operations.

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Ashworth has a long-standing relationship with Ratcliffe’s right-hand man Sir Dave Brailsford, who hosted a presentation in front of the the Magpies' squad in Portugal ahead of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign.

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Speaking about Brailsford's visit, Ashworth said: "I’ve known Sir Dave for a number of years, working across various different sports and he is without doubt the best in world sport at creating high-performance culture and turning that into winning.

"There were some brilliant messages for us all and it was great to get him in at this point of pre-season."

According to The Telegraph, Newcastle are braced for Ashworth's possible departure. No approach has yet been made but the Magpies are keen to seek assurances that that he is committed to staying long term. The report adds "things are likely to come to a head in the next few days".

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Gary Neville previously suggested Ashworth would be a good fit for Man United after bumping into him during Newcastle's 3-0 victory in the Carabao Cup third round last year.

"On my way up to the gantry (last Wednesday) I bumped into Dan Ashworth. He has built a strong foundation for the new owners at Newcastle,’ said Neville. "He’s competent, highly qualified and knows what he’s doing. He will work with his coach, recruitment team and other departments coherently and calmly.

Neville's praise was put to Ashworth during a sit down interview at the club's Benton training ground in November and he played down talk of him being lured away from Tyneside.

"First of all, I literally saw Gary when walking into the directors' box and he was going down the tunnel. I shouted 'hello' and that was it,’ said Ashworth. ‘I didn't have a conversation with Gary. I know him and Phil (Neville) from their England days. He's written some very kind things and thank you Gary.

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"But it’s the same situation as Eddie [Howe], I think. I'm really happy, it's a brilliant city, club and project. I'm thoroughly engaged in throwing myself into all of those things and really enjoying the challenge."

Should Man United make their move, it is understood they would have to pay a multi-million-pound compensation settlement. Ashworth would also have to sit out a lengthy period of gardening leave, like he did when he joined Newcastle from Brighton and Hove Albion in 2022.

Ashworth has overseen big changes, both on and off the pitch at St James' Park after Champions League qualification was secured last season.

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