‘Not easy’ - Newcastle United’s ruthless Dan Ashworth stance revealed as Manchester United wait

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
Dan Ashworth appears no closer to joining Manchester United after being placed on gardening leave

Newcastle United remain locked in negotiations regarding Dan Ashworth’s future with no sign of giving an inch to Sir Jim Ratcliffe, according to reports.

The Magpies placed the 53-year-old on gardening leave in February following interest from Manchester United. Ashworth, who only arrived from Brighton in June 2022, had signalled his intention to join the new regime at Old Trafford.

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Ineos billionaire Ratcliffe assumed sporting control of the Red Devils after acquiring a 25 per cent stake in the club. He has acted quickly to make key appointments, including poaching Omar Berrada from Manchester City as CEO.

Newcastle were next in Ratcliffe’s sights as he targeted Ashworth, regarded as one of world football’s best sporting directors. But Toon chiefs have robustly told Man United that they must stump up £20million to release him from his contract - or wait until 2026.

Ratcliffe publicly brandished that stance of “silly” and expected Newcastle to negotiate on their hardball stance. However, Italian sports journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed the Magpies are refusing to budge.

“Sticking with Man United, the negotiation with Newcastle is still ongoing for Dan Ashworth,” he told CaughtOffside. “It’s not been easy, as expected, but Man United are still working to have Ashworth and Jason Wilcox as soon as possible.

“This delay can of course make the process slower in terms of the club’s strategy. But the vision will always be there thanks to the co-owners and new people at the club.”

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