'I'm not sure' - Roy Keane fires warning to Man Utd amid Dan Ashworth Newcastle United links

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Manchester United hope to poach the transfer chief from Newcastle United.

Roy Keane has questioned whether Dan Ashworth would remain loyal to Manchester United amid the club's ongoing pursuit of their prospective new sporting director.

United have been heavily linked with a move for Ashworth, with incoming investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe a known admirer of the Magpies recruitment chief. ManchesterWorld understands the club are willing to wait for their primary target and will not come close to paying the £10m fee that has been reported.

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Ashworth has quickly risen into prominent roles with Premier League clubs, enjoying continued success at Brighton and Hove Albion before being hired by Newcastle in 2022. The 52-year-old is yet to inform the Magpies of his desire to stay in the North East and could be open to a move.

That rise through two different clubs has been hugely impressive but former United midfielder Keane believes it should also act as a warning to Ratcliffe, suggesting they could be put in Newcastle's position in the future.

“He doesn’t hang around does he? I’m not sure loyalty is on the top of his list," Keane told Stick To Football. "He left Brighton for Newcastle and now [in only 2 years] he’s jumping to join United. You have to look at that side of the personality as well, no doubt he is brilliant at his job, but who’s to say in a year and a half he might want to go to Real Madrid or Barcelona.”

As of yet, no approach has been made for Ashworth but United are thought to be preparing an official proposal. Ratcliffe ideally wants an appointment to be wrapped up quickly, allowing plenty of time to prepare for a busy summer transfer window, but will also remain patient if that is required.

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Newcastle will aim to make it as difficult as possible for United to get their man, with the aforementioned fee a likely demand alongside extended gardening leave. Speaking on Friday, Magpies manager Eddie Howe admitted it was an 'unusual situation' for such speculation around a non-playing member of staff but he is concerned about the prospect of losing Ashworth.

“At some stage there has to be a line drawn and things have to move forward. It’s not my decision. I’m not in control of it," he said. "Obviously it’s been in the news a lot and usually with these things, that means something’s going to happen. But as we speak now, we’ve had no contact from anyone.”

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