Manchester United Pursues Sporting Director Dan Ashworth Amidst Compensation Standoff with Newcastle

Manchester United Pursues Sporting Director Dan Ashworth Amidst Compensation Standoff with Newcastle

Manchester United Pursues Sporting Director Dan Ashworth Amidst Compensation Standoff with Newcastle

Manchester United has officially approached Newcastle for their sporting director, Dan Ashworth.

The Red Devils view Dan Ashworth as a key target in their pursuit of transformation, backed by the Ineos Group's ambitions for the club.

Earlier in the day, Newcastle confirmed that Ashworth had been placed on gardening leave at his request, marking the beginning of negotiations between the two clubs. Manchester United sees itself in a favorable negotiating position, considering that Newcastle will be responsible for paying the 52-year-old during his gardening leave.

Despite this perceived advantage, Newcastle believes it holds a strong position in negotiations, given Manchester United's keen interest in securing the services of one of football's most esteemed sporting directors. Ashworth is currently under contract with Newcastle, preventing him from working for any other club until 2025 unless compensation terms are agreed upon.

Newcastle is contemplating requesting a fee well exceeding £10 million from Manchester United, leveraging their contractual rights over Ashworth. On the other side, Manchester United is determined not to be coerced into overpaying for the sporting director.

Darren Eales, Newcastle United's chief executive, expressed disappointment over Ashworth's decision to leave but emphasized that the club's journey continues. The process to recruit a new sporting director will commence immediately, and Eales thanked Dan Ashworth for his contributions to the club.

While Ashworth is highly regarded, there have been murmurs from St James' Park suggesting that he played a role in the controversial £55 million signing of Italy midfielder Sandro Tonali from AC Milan in July. Tonali, who made only 12 appearances for Newcastle, faced a 10-month ban for breaching gambling regulations in Italy, rendering him unavailable until August.

Ineos, set to confirm its 25% ownership of Manchester United this week, could make another significant move if a deal for Ashworth is finalized. Ashworth is reportedly interested in joining Old Trafford, having established a relationship with Ineos head of sport Sir Dave Brailsford during his tenure at the Football Association.

Ashworth's track record includes being credited with England's success at youth levels in 2017, when they triumphed in both the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups. Subsequently, he played a pivotal role in Brighton's ascent in the Premier League, contributing to the appointment of Graham Potter as manager after Chris Hughton's departure.

Ashworth took a leave of absence after leaving Brighton before joining Newcastle in 2022. If the negotiations between Manchester United and Newcastle prove successful, it would mark another significant move orchestrated by Ineos in reshaping the future of the club.

In a statement, Darren Eales commented, "We are naturally disappointed that Dan has chosen to leave. However, our exciting journey doesn't stop, and the process to recruit a new sporting director will begin immediately. We thank Dan for his efforts at Newcastle United, and we wish him and his family well for the future."

The standoff over compensation between the two clubs adds intrigue to the unfolding saga, with both sides holding their ground as they navigate the complexities of securing a pivotal figure like Dan Ashworth in the competitive world of football management.

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Fabrice Beaux

Business Expert

Fabrice Beaux is CEO and Founder of InsterHyve Systems Genève-based managed IT service provider. They provide the latest and customized IT Solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

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