Man Utd target Dan Ashworth to steer the Ratcliffe renaissance

February 19 – Newcastle United have put Sporting Director Dan Ashworth on gardening leave after he informed the club of his intention to join Manchester United.

The news breaks after it was revealed that the Red Devils were targeting Ashworth to join their Ineos-inspired overhaul of the club, with the 52-year-old having establishing himself as one of the best sporting directors around after being largely responsible for Newcastle’s and former club Brighton’s recent success alongside playing a key role in England’s world-leading youth setup in 2017.

There are hints from St James’ Park that suggest his judgement has been blamed in part for the £55 million signing of Italy midfielder Sandro Tonali from AC Milan in July who after 12 matches received a 10-month ban for breaking gambling regulations in Italy.

Regardless, the Newcastle chief is top of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s list to front up his new football operation at Old Trafford after completing his $1.3 billion deal for a 25 % stake in the club.

With Ineos’ Manchester United ownership status due to be rubber stamped in the coming days, agreeing a deal for Ashworth could prove to be a statement piece of business that has the potential to put Manchester United back in the title conversation for seasons to come.

As per the terms of his contract, Ashworth is legally bound to work exclusively for Newcastle and is restricted from accepting employment with any other entity until the contract’s expiration in 2025.

The clause further specifies that if Ashworth were to pursue employment elsewhere before 2025, both parties would need to reach a compensation agreement to nullify the contractual obligations, with the magpies lining up a £10 million valuation.

According to reports, Ashworth is keen on a move to Manchester, having established a connection with Ineos head of sport Sir Dave Brailsford during his time in a previous role at the FA.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1721402712labto1721402712ofdlr1721402712owedi1721402712sni@g1721402712niwe.1721402712yrrah1721402712