Dan Ashworth makes ‘untenable’ Eddie Howe claims - and Newcastle United can easily laugh them off

Dan Ashworth, currently on gardening leave at Newcastle UnitedDan Ashworth, currently on gardening leave at Newcastle United
Dan Ashworth, currently on gardening leave at Newcastle United
Newcastle and Manchester United remain deadlocked over the Dan Ashworth saga

Dan Ashworth claimed Eddie Howe made his position untenable at Newcastle United, according to reports.

His expected exit to Manchester United is beginning to turn ugly, with the sporting director set to take the Magpies to arbitration. Newcastle placed Ashworth on gardening leave until the back end of 2025 once he outlined his desire to join the Red Devils.

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The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that Ashworth awkwardly sent his Newcastle email account confirmation of talks with Omar Berrada, the incoming Man United CEO. This threatens to jeopardise them both as Berrada has been placed on gardening leave by Manchester City and is not meant to start work at Old Trafford until July 13.

The message revealed he wanted to join the Red Devils and, because Newcastle had not received an approach at that point, a complaint could be made. Toon chiefs already have a hostile relationship with Man United given the £20million price tag placed on Ashworth’s head.

Minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe publicly labelled Newcastle’s valuation as “silly” and bemoaned how gardening leaves works in football following the London Marathon. In a shock twist, the Daily Mail also claim Ashworth used Howe’s comments about the Man United links to plot his exit.

“Your concerns are relevant,” Howe told reporters when asked about Ashworth knowing about transfer plans. “I don't know quite how much I can say on that, but I share your feelings.

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“Yes (Ashworth is aware of plans) and that’s why I say he’s in a position of power, with a lot of intelligence and information. That’s why it’s a slightly unusual situation. Whatever happens, I think we want a quick resolution. It’s better for everybody if that’s the case.”

That is despite Howe’s comments coming on February 16 - a week after the email blunder with Berrada. The report suggests Ashworth tried to cover his tracks by deleting the accidental message sent to his Newcastle account.

Arbitration remains confidential but The Telegraph claim the sporting director will position himself as already being sacked by the Magpies. He will reportedly ask for his gardening leave to be declared null and void given the handling of the situation.

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