Key Newcastle United figures have already responded to Manchester United's interest in Dan Ashworth

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Key Newcastle United figures have already expressed hope that Dan Ashworth will resist an approach from Manchester United.

Manchester United are set to make an approach for Dan Ashworth - but key Newcastle United figures have already expressed their hope that he'll remain on Tyneside.

Ashworth has emerged as a leading target for the Red Devils after the Premier League and FA this week approved Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 25% stake, which will see him take control of the Old Trafford club's football operations from the Glazers.

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The Telegraph reports that "things are likely to come to a head in the next few days". At the timing of writing, no approach has yet been made but the Magpies are keen to seek assurances that he is committed to staying long term.

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

Ashworth has been linked with Man United since late last year and that time, both CEO Darren Eales and head coach Eddie Howe have been asked about the 52-year-old's future. And their message was similar.

Speaking last month, Eales said: "Obviously Dan has spoken on the record recently about being happy in the project. We go back to our days at West Bromwich Albion where we worked together.

"Dan's done a great job, there's a lot more work to be done and we're hopeful he's here for the long term. He's certainly enjoying his time at the moment."

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Meanwhile, Howe, in December, said: "Of course I've spoken to Dan, but not necessarily about that [Man United links]. It's very difficult to comment on speculation, whether that be a player or someone in Dan's position.

"I've got no doubt that Dan is here for the long-term, but it's probably a question for Dan rather than me."

Howe added: "He's done a really good job in helping us in loads of different ways - building departments, the training ground, he's connected with everything that goes on in terms of the decision making at the football club.

"He's hugely important and has been a really calming influence behind the scenes, his vast experience has really helped."

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Should Man United make a successful 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, whether that be the academy or last season's top four Premier League finish.

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