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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Manchester United given transfer boost after signing Dan Ashworth from Newcastle

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Dan Ashworth is finally able to start as Manchester United’s sporting director after they agreed a deal with Newcastle.

The former FA technical director has been on gardening leave since February during a stand-off when the two clubs had a very different valuation of him, with Newcastle demanding £20m in compensation and Manchester United offering far less.

But now Ashworth, who was headhunted by the new regime at Old Trafford, can begin as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s much-changed structure takes shape.

The two clubs issued a joint statement on Monday announcing that Ashworth, who was placed on garden leave by Newcastle earlier this year amid interest from United, had been released from his contract at St James’ Park.

No compensation details have been disclosed but it is understood Ashworth will be able to begin his new role at Old Trafford with immediate effect.

The statement read: “Newcastle United and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the immediate release of Dan Ashworth from his contractual obligations at Newcastle United.

“The terms of this agreement remain confidential between the clubs. Newcastle United thanks Dan for his services and wishes him well for the future.”

Technical director Jason Wilcox, who was hired from Southampton, has already started while chief executive Omar Berrada, who has been on gardening leave since January, will take up his role this month.

In Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc, Ratcliffe has put two Ineos figures on the board. In February, Ratcliffe described Ashworth as a “10 out of 10 sporting director”.

Ashworth in effect replaces former football director John Murtough, who has already left Old Trafford, while Darren Fletcher, who was technical director, will take up new duties.

Ashworth planned to take Newcastle to arbitration in a bid to secure his release before the clubs came to an agreement.

The compensation figure could help Newcastle pass Profitability and Sustainability Rules after they also sold Elliot Anderson and Yankuba Minteh by the end of the footballing financial year on 30 June.

Ashworth was only at Newcastle for two years, following three at Brighton and seven with the FA. Before that, he had a successful spell at West Bromwich Albion.

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