Newcastle ‘want’ mega fee for Dan Ashworth as Man Utd target placed on gardening leave

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Newcastle are said to be furious with Manchester United's approach for Dan Ashworth.

Dan Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave by Newcastle United, who will request a £20m fee from Manchester United to secure his services, according to reports.

ManchesterWorld reported last week that Ashworth is United’s primary candidate to come in as their new sporting director, with the club willing to be patient but unlikely to pay an eight-figure price to bring the 52-year-old to Old Trafford.

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As of late last week, no official offer had been forthcoming, and it’s believed that remains the case at this stage.

But reports in the Times claim Newcastle are ‘furious at the manner of Manchester United’s approach for Ashworth’, whose access to the Magpies’ computer programmes and scouting reports has been blocked.

The former FA director of elite development has been placed on gardening leave by Newcastle, which could last up to 20 months unless United and Sir Jim Ratcliffe can negotiate an early release from his contract, with the north-east club demanding £15m.

But The Athletic claim that figure could be as high as £20m, with Ashworth informing Newcastle over the weekend that he wishes to leave. The outlet add he will paid his full wage while on gardening leave.

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Ashworth is seen as an integral part of Ratcliffe’s new-look sporting hierarchy at United, with an emphasis on ‘best in class’ at the basis of Ineos’ approach. Omar Berrada has already been pinched from Manchester City, while Southampton’ Jason Wilcox is a candidate to lead the club’s recruitment plans.

Ratcliffe is expected to officially become a minority shareholder later this week when he acquires 25 percent of the club’s Class-A shares. Last week, his purchase of partial stake in the club was confirmed by the Premier League and the FA.

On the pitch, United beat Luton 2-1 on Sunday to close the gap to the Champions League places. Erik ten Hag's side began the weekend six points off the top four, but that's been reduced to five after the win at Kenilworth Road.

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