Manchester United confirm double summer exit as Newcastle United move 'on hold'

Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Manchester United and Newcastle United are yet to agree a compensation package for Dan Ashworth.

Manchester United are pressing ahead with plans to restructure their football operations department, despite not having Dan Ashworth in place.

On Tuesday night, the Red Devils confirmed that Patrick Stewart, interim Chief Executive Officer, and Cliff Baty, Chief Financial Officer, will leave their positions by mutual consent at the end of the campaign. Stewart will be replaced by former Juventus CEO Jean-Claude Blanc until the arrival of Omar Berrada from Manchester City on July 13. Baty, meanwhile, will be replaced by Roger Bell.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Man United’s new co-owner, said: “I would like to personally thank both Patrick and Cliff for their support in helping us get to know the club and making us feel welcome and I respect their decisions to now move on as we establish a new management team for the club.”

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

Last month, Man United confirmed the appointment of Jason Wilcox as technical director after reaching a compensation package with Championship side Southampton. However, reaching such settlement with Newcastle United for Ashworth has proven to be far from straightforward.

Ashworth was placed on gardening leave in February after he signalled his intention to move to Old Trafford but the Magpies have so far stood in firm by demanding a sizeable compensation fee to release the sporting director from his contract before January 2026.

With negotiations currently at an impasse, it’s rumoured that Ashworth is set to take Newcastle to arbitration in order to facilitate his switch to Man United. Jim Ratcliffe previously labelled Newcastle’s demands as “absurd” and “completely stupid”.

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But while that rumbles on in the background, the process to replace Ashworth has recently entered the final stages. But Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is yet to be consulted over who the candidate might be, with Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman the latest named linked.

“I think it's one of those things, if the club wanted to seek my opinion, I'd be more than happy to do that,” Howe said on Friday. “That hasn't happened to this point and I respect and understand that. But it's a big appointment for us, we have to try and get it right.

“We have to work really closely with whoever it is to take the team forward as they say and make good decisions for the future of the club. An absolutely key appointment for us, so let's wait and see what happens."

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