Newcastle United warned as Manchester United make 'substantial' move for key man

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Manchester United aren't deterred by claims Dan Ashworth is happy at Newcastle United.

Newcastle United's sporting director Dan Ashworth will become a number one priority for Manchester United after Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 25 per cent stake in the Red Devils is formally approved.

Whilst former Tottenham Hotspur head of recruitment Paul Mitchell has been considered a frontrunner to take John Murtough's position in Manchester, the i has reported he is now being considered for a head of recruitment role once again, with Ashworth wanted for sporting director.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Getty Images

According to Sir Dave Brailsford, who is overseeing the audit of the club, both appointments will overhaul Manchester's transfer market approach and revamp the club's fortunes.

But it's believed Dan Ashworth is happy at Newcastle United, having just joined in 2022 from Brighton.

This hasn't deterred Manchester, however. Brailsford, who is a long-standing friend of Ashworth, is willing to provide substantial compensation for the move.

After arriving on Tyneside in 2022, Ashworth invited Brailsford to talk to the Newcastle squad and at the time Ashworth said: "I've known Sir Dave for a number of years, working across various sports and he is without doubt the best in world sport at creating a high-performance culture and turning that into winning."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Despite looking like the beginnings of an overhaul at Manchester United, Ratcliffe and Brailsford will start with the upper levels of management to ensure the club is making the right transfer decisions after a questionable few years. For now, Erik ten Hag's job as head coach is not under threat at this time.

After Newcastle United's defeat at Anfield, former Red Devil defender Gary Neville wondered if the uncertainty around Ashworth's future was contributing to the Magpies' current run of form.

AFP via Getty Images

“You mentioned Dan Ashworth,” Neville said post-match. “I’ve thought a lot about this in the last couple of weeks. That will be unnerving Eddie Howe and unnerving quite a lot of people at Newcastle because he’s a very calming presence.

“You’d think that he would have a big influence with the owners above. And I think if Eddie Howe is to come through this difficult period, you need a strong sporting director you’ve got the backing of.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“If Dan Ashworth’s head has been turned, and people at (Manchester) United, the new owners have been getting into him about leaving, I think that could mean a more challenging period for Eddie Howe in these next few months.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.