‘People at Newcastle asked’ - Man Utd legend makes bizarre Dan Ashworth admission

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Dan Ashworth previously rejected Manchester United before joining Brighton in 2019

Rio Ferdinand has claimed he recommended Newcastle United chiefs to appoint Dan Ashworth as sporting director.

Toon shot-callers headhunted Ashworth to spearhead the Saudi-backed revolution following the takeover in October 2021. The 52-year-old was unable to start work until June 2022 as Brighton placed him on gardening leave.

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Ironically, that is the situation he finds himself in again as Manchester United aim to prise him from St James’ Park. Ashworth has already signalled his intention to leave - with Newcastle demanding a £20million compensation package.

The Red Devils have been told to cough up or risk not having their man in the boardroom until 2026 - dealing a blow to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s revolution.

The Ineos billionaire - granted full sporting control at Old Trafford by the Glazers - has already appointed former Manchester City CEO Omar Berrada. Speaking to his Vibe with Five podcast, former Man United defender Ferdinand insisted he told Newcastle bosses to appoint Ashworth after the takeover.

"I think he's the best,” Ferdinand said. "He's so calm, he's so sure in what he's doing. He's so focused and diligent, he knows the market.

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"Not swayed, I don't think he gets bullied by agents and stuff like that. We should go back into the archives. I said that Man United should have gotten him some time ago. If I had my choice to take a sporting director it would have been him.

“I spoke to him at Brighton. People at Newcastle asked me my opinion and I said, I'd go and get him and they went and got him."

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