Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth has already responded to Man United links

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
Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth has already responded to speculation linking him with Manchester United.

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth has already addressed the speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United.

Reports of the Red Devils' interest in Ashworth resurfaced on Friday afternoon. As per talkSPORT, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, whose 25 per-cent stake in Man United is set to be confirmed this month, has been impressed by his work at St James' Park, which has seen the club rapidly progress from relegation candidates to qualifying for the Champions League.

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Ratcliffe will head up a new footballing department at Old Trafford. It's claimed Ashworth has a long-standing relationship with Ratcliffe’s right-hand man Sir Dave Brailsford, who hosted a presentation in front of the Newcastle squad in Portugal ahead of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign, and could be asked to join.

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

Speaking about Brailsford's visit, Ashworth said: "I’ve known Sir Dave for a number of years, working across various different sports and he is without doubt the best in world sport at creating high-performance culture and turning that into winning. There were some brilliant messages for us all and it was great to get him in at this point of pre-season."

Gary Neville also recently suggested Ashworth would be a good fit for Man United bumping into him during Newcastle's 3-0 victory in the Carabao Cup third roound.

"On my way up to the gantry (last Wednesday) I bumped into Dan Ashworth. He has built a strong foundation for the new owners at Newcastle,’ said Neville. "He’s competent, highly qualified and knows what he’s doing. He will work with his coach, recruitment team and other departments coherently and calmly.

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Neville's praise was put to Ashworth during a sitdown interview at the club's Benton training ground in November and he played down talk of him being lured away from Tyneside.

"First of all, I literally saw Gary when walking into the directors' box and he was going down the tunnel. I shouted 'hello' and that was it,’ said Ashworth. ‘I didn't have a conversation with Gary. I know him and Phil (Neville) from their England days. He's written some very kind things and thank you Gary.

"But it’s the same situation as Eddie [Howe], I think. I'm really happy, it's a brilliant city, club and project. I'm thoroughly engaged in throwing myself into all of those things and really enjoying the challenge."

Ashworth has been at St James' Park over a year now after joining from Brighton and Hove Albion.

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