Jamie Carragher makes Dan Ashworth to Manchester United claim that Newcastle United will hate

Dan Ashworth is very keen to join Manchester United after telling Newcastle United he wants to leave.

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher says Newcastle United will never be as big as Manchester United as Dan Ashworth pushes for a move to Old Trafford.

Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave after informing the Magpies on Sunday night he wants to leave. According to The Telegraph, Newcastle will insist on a compensation package of more than £20million should the Red Devils want to employ him before 2026.

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The 52-year-old's departure after only 20 months has come as a surprise on Tyneside, but not to Carragher, who believes the pull of Manchester United is hard for anyone at Newcastle to turn down, whether that be a player, a manager or staff member. Indeed, it is a statement that will irritate some given the lofty ambitions of Newcastle's owners.

Carragher told The Overlap: "When Newcastle's owners came in and people were talking about the investment being huge, I was never, from a Liverpool point of view, thinking 'this is the new team in town' or 'this is going to be another City or Chelsea'. I think it's more difficult now with FFP.

"I do think Newcastle had such a great season last season but they have almost hit a ceiling a little bit when you think 'how do you make that next jump?' People will look at some of the players they've got and Dan Ashworth, and maybe even Eddie Howe at some stage.

"If Gareth Southgate leaves in the summer, you'd imagine the FA would go for Eddie Howe, wouldn't you?

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"I think that's a big blow for them. Newcastle are a huge football club but they're never going to be Man United so if Man United come for one of their players or a manager or sporting director they're going to go and I think it's a great appointment."

Ashworth was previously on gardening leave for three months before he joined Newcastle from Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer of 2022. During his time at St James' Park, he has made changes behind the scenes such as putting a scouting network in place and increasing the number of coaches within the academy. However, he won't set out what either he or Newcastle wanted him to achieve.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 25% stake in Man United was approved by the Premier League last week, which will see his Ineos group take control of the football operations side at Old Trafford. Ashworth has close links to Sir Dave Brailsford - Ratcliffe's trusted right-hand man.

Carragher said it is a "big blow" for Newcastle to lose Ashworth, although Manchester United legend Roy Keane took a slightly more positive view in regards to the Magpies' search for a new sporting director.

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"He's got a great reputation but I don't think a club should be so dependent," Keane added. "You say 'what will happen to Newcastle?' You'd like to think Newcastle can survive. He left Brighton but that's the nature of the beast.

"From a United point of view, we've been speaking for the last six months of what changes can they make and we said get the best people. And he looks like he knows what he's doing so it's no surprise United have gone into them."

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