Manchester United make desperate Newcastle owner request to end Dan Ashworth deadlock

Newcastle United are playing hardball over their price tag for sporting director Dan Ashworth

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Newcastle United co-owner Amanda StaveleyNewcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley
Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has held one-to-one talks with Amanda Staveley in a desperate attempt to appoint Dan Ashworth.

So far, Newcastle United have maintained their hardball stance, keeping the sporting director on gardening leave unless they receive £20million compensation. That figure would be a record for any club to prise a boardroom official away.

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As it stands, Manchester United must wait until 2026 if they wish to land Ashworth for nothing. Ratcliffe was given sporting control by the Glazers after acquiring a 25 per cent stake and has already made several key moves.

Omar Berrada - also currently on gardening leave - was poached from bitter rivals Manchester City to become the new CEO. Jason Wilcox, Southampton’s director of football, is expected to follow suit at the end of the season.

All that remains in the balance is Ashworth and a possible replacement for Erik ten Hag in the dugout. The Times claim Ratcliffe met Staveley, who holds a minority stake in Newcastle and brokered the £300million Saudi-backed takeover, to break the deadlock.

Man United are understood to be keen on getting Ashworth at Old Trafford before the summer transfer window. From Newcastle’s perspective, they announced in a club statement that work is being done to replace the 53-year-old despite him still being under contract.

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Ashworth’s position became untenable on Tyneside and it is now a question of when - not if - he joins the Red Devils. There is also no suggestion about whether the talks between Ratcliffe and Staveley proved productive.

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