Dan Ashworth latest as Man Utd and Sir Jim Ratcliffe make Newcastle chief 'top target'

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Dan Ashworth only started his work forNewcastle United in June 2022 following success at Brighton

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made Dan Ashworth their top target to become Manchester United’s sporting director, according to reports. The 52-year-old was appointed at Newcastle United two years ago this month, although he could not fulfil his duties until the summer. Ashworth previously held roles at Brighton - where he helped unearth several gems - and at the FA as their head of elite development.

The Toon supremo is viewed as one of the best sporting directors in world football - catching Ratcliffe’s eye as part of his United build. Major changes are expected at Old Trafford now the Ineos billionaire has assumed sporting control of the club.

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The Red Devils have already snatched Manchester City CEO Omar Berrada in a move that sent shockwaves throughout English football. Newcastle could now be the next Champions League rival United as Ashworth, according to The Telegraph, is a wanted man.

A report claimed the Magpies are “bracing” themselves for a formal approach from Ratcliffe and are uncertain about whether he wants to move. Speaking in December, Ashworth insisted he was “happy” at St James’ Park amid talk of a potential Man United move.

“(It’s the same situation as Eddie (Howe),” he said. “I'm really happy, it's a brilliant city, club and project. I'm thoroughly engaged in throwing myself into all of those things and really enjoying the challenge."

Various reports have emerged since The Telegraph’s piece expressing concerns over his Newcastle commitments. The Athletic confirmed Ashworth as United’s top target and suggested he is “open” to an Old Trafford switch.

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That bombshell comes almost five years after he rejected a chance to join the Red Devils under Glazer control. Ashworth snubbed an offer to take up his role at Brighton but the prospect of fronting a fresh era at the Theatre of Dreams - spearheaded by Ratcliffe - is appealing.

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