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Manchester United are willing to pay Newcastle extra compensation to ensure Dan Ashworth starts work sooner rather than later, talkSPORT understands.

Ashworth has informed Newcastle that Man United are interested in poaching him as sporting director, although no club-to-club talks have yet taken place.

Manchester United willing to pay Newcastle extra compensation to get Dan Ashworth in for summer transfer window


Newcastle are braced for Ashworth’s departureCredit: Getty

Under the terms of his contract, Ashworth would have to spend several months on gardening leave before joining a rival club.

United want Ashworth’s appointment sewn up as quickly as possible and would like him in place in time for the summer transfer window.

Ashworth is understood to have informed the Newcastle board and manager Eddie Howe of United’s interest earlier this week.

The Red Devils are also looking to appoint a head of recruitment to work under ex-FA bigwig Ashworth.

The Englishman joined Newcastle from Brighton in 2022, where he served as technical director, but the Magpies are now braced for his departure.

Ashworth was officially confirmed as Newcastle’s director of football in February 2022 but served a period of gardening leave before joining the Toon in the summer.

Immediately, he helped Newcastle complete a cut-price deal for Nick Pope and a club-record transfer involving Alexander Isak.

Anthony Gordon was then signed in January 2023 from Everton, and he’s enjoyed a sublime season.

Man United minority owner Ratcliffe is understood to be an admirer of Ashworth


Man United minority owner Ratcliffe is understood to be an admirer of AshworthCredit: AFP
Losing Ashworth is a massive setback for the Magpies


Losing Ashworth is a massive setback for the MagpiesCredit: Getty

Ashworth works closely with Eddie Howe to identify targets and helped close out summer deals for Tino Livramento, Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Lewis Hall.

Livramento has looked like a star in the making at left or right-back, while Tonali appeared born to play in the Premier League until he was banned for illegal betting on football.

Barnes has also struggled with injury but has shown flashes he will be another top signing for the Toon.

At Brighton, Ashworth also established a recruitment system that has thrived since his departure, showing his ability to create effective structures within clubs.

talkSPORT reported Man United’s interest in Ashworth in December 2023, and with Ratcliffe’s stake now confirmed, talkSPORT expects things to heat up.

The lifelong Man United fan plans to waste no time in putting his plans into place and Ashworth’s appointment is a big part of that.

Dan Ashworth Newcastle signings

  • Alexander Isak [Real Sociedad] £60m
  • Sandro Tonali [AC Milan] – £52m
  • Anthony Gordon [Everton] £45m
  • Tino Livramento [Southampton] – £40m
  • Harvey Barnes [Leicester] – £38m
  • Sven Botman [Lille] £35m
  • Matt Targett [Aston Villa] £15m
  • Nick Pope [Burnley] £10m
  • Alex Murphy [Galway United] Undisclosed
  • Charlie McArthur [Kilmarnock] Undisclosed
  • Jude Smith [East Fife] Undisclosed
  • Garang Kuol [Central Coast Mariners] £400k
  • Yankuba Minteh [Odense Boldklub] Undisclosed
  • Harrison Ashby [West Ham] Undisclosed
  • Cathal Heffernan [AC Milan] Undisclosed
  • Reece Byrne [Bohemians] Undisclosed
  • Travis Hernes [Shrewsbury Town] Undisclosed
  • Lewis Hall [Chelsea] Loan
  • Amadou Diallo [Free]

The 52-year-old has a vast amount of experience, starting his career at Peterborough as an academy manager before becoming West Bromwich Albion’s sporting director in 2007.

The FA then poached Ashworth in 2013, and he spent five years working with Roy Hodgson and Gareth Southgate to establish an excellent football structure.

His success at Brighton is well-known, and Newcastle were hoping he would be the man to lead their new era, but that’s not looking likely, as it stands.

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