Premier League club statement suggests fresh Newcastle United twist as £20m Man United deal eyed

AFC Bournemouth have announced Richard Hughes is leaving his position as technical director this summer. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)AFC Bournemouth have announced Richard Hughes is leaving his position as technical director this summer. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
AFC Bournemouth have announced Richard Hughes is leaving his position as technical director this summer. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United are searching for a new sporting director after Dan Ashworth was approached by Manchester United.

Newcastle United-linked Richard Hughes is leaving his position as technical director at AFC Bournemouth this summer.

Hughes has been in the role since 2016 and previously worked with Magpies' head coach Eddie Howe and assistant Jason Tindall. His departure comes at a time where Newcastle are searching for a new sporting director after Dan Ashworth was placed on gardening leaving.

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In a statement released by the Cherries, Hughes said: “Working for AFC Bournemouth has always been a source of great joy and pride for me. Initially representing the club as a player and then subsequently in a football leadership role, I count every moment I’ve spent here as a blessing.

AFC Bournemouth have announced Richard Hughes is leaving his position as technical director this summer. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)AFC Bournemouth have announced Richard Hughes is leaving his position as technical director this summer. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
AFC Bournemouth have announced Richard Hughes is leaving his position as technical director this summer. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“As technical director, I’ve been fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated individuals the game can offer. It’s been ten challenging, enjoyable and rewarding years in this post.

“The journey we have been on, as a club, is nothing short of remarkable. Where we are currently, on and off the pitch, assures me the future is bright.

“In Bill Foley, AFCB has an owner who is as ambitious as he is smart and committed. In Neill Blake, the club has a top-tier CEO who has always made decisions which place the best interests of the club and its supporters before anything else.

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“On the technical side, we have a group of players and coaching setup who complement each other perfectly. Andoni is one of Europe’s most exciting managerial prospects and the playing squad is arguably the best we’ve ever had. I’ve zero doubt that match days will continue to be exciting and entertaining for our fans.

“The club requires a healthy lead up time to plan for the summer and beyond so this is the right time to announce that I will be leaving at the end of the season."

Meanwhile, Bournemouth owner Bill Foley added: "I'm very grateful for Richard's outstanding service to this football club. His contribution in helping to deliver competitive teams for us over the years is no better highlighted than by our status as a Premier League club for seven of the last nine seasons. I wish him the very best for the future.”

Considering Hughes has existing relationship with Howe, the links to Newcastle should come as no surprise. However, it won't be the United boss who picks the next sporting director.

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"It'll be the club's decision and rightly so," said Howe. "It won't just be my opinion that they will listen to, they'll be listening to lots of different opinions from lots of different people.

"Hopefully, at the end, we just come to the right solution for the football club because hopefully the next person that comes in will be at the club for many years and will be able to take the club in the direction everyone wants it to."

In the meantime, Newcastle are progressing behind the scenes as normal and ironing out plans for the summer transfer window.

A compensation package in the region of £20million is what Newcastle are demanding from Manchester United for Ashworth, whose gardening leave period doesn't expire until January 2026.

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