Manchester United target spotted at St James' Park as Newcastle United await further developments

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth is wanted by Manchester United.

Dan Ashworth was in attendance at St James' Park as Newcastle United played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

The Magpies' sporting director is wanted by Manchester United and an official approach is expected in the coming days. But for now, Ashworth is continuing as normal, although Magpies' boss Eddie Howe has expressed his hope of quick resolution.

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Howe said on Friday: "We want a quick resolution. It’s better for everybody if that’s the case. At some stage there has to be a line drawn and things have to move forward. It’s not my decision. I’m not in control of it."

Ashworth joined Newcastle 20 months ago from Brighton & Hove Albion and in that time has made changes behind the scenes such as putting a scouting network in place and increasing the number of coaches within the academy.

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 - but in order to move to Man United, a compensation package will need to be agreed.

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Asked if the detailed intelligence Ashworth possesses about his current employers and their blueprint was a concern, Howe replied: “I think your concerns are relevant. I don’t know quite how much I can say on that, but I share your feelings.”

Howe added: "“It's a difficult one because when you're in that role, I think you need longevity to actually see the fruits of your labour.

"It's sort of a long-term position and I think the people who have done it best in the Premier League throughout time have always had a period of real stability because change takes a long time at any football club to get those processes exactly how you want them to be.

"Dan's had a relatively short time here, but let's see what happens. As I say, as I sit here now, nothing has happened.

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“Football always moves on very quickly, and I'd say that regarding the manager's position. Newcastle is a huge football club, it will continue to work in a very efficient way regardless of who is here.

"We've got some very, very capable people here in all departments, so we would carry on very smoothly."

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