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Alan Shearer reacts to report that Dan Ashworth will cost Manchester United more than £20m or be forced to wait at Newcastle United until 2026

Newcastle United want more than £20 million to allow Dan Ashworth to start working for Manchester United before the stipulated length of his gardening leave, according to the Telegraph.

The Magpies sporting director wants to join the Red Devils but will be prevented from doing so until 2026 unless Newcastle’s demands are met.

However, whether Man United will be keen to part with such a hefty compensation fee is unclear.

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer cannot believe how much his old club wants before releasing Ashworth, suggesting on social media that the figure should be higher.

The former Brighton & Hove Albion technical director told Newcastle on Saturday that he wants to leave as soon as possible, and he has reportedly started planning for the Man United role, with Chelsea chief recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay one of his early targets.

Ashworth joined Newcastle in February 2022, serving three months of gardening leave after leaving the Seagulls, and the Magpies are ready to play hardball over their man.

The Red Devils want him as early as possible so that preparations for the summer transfer window can start in earnest, but they will need to part with top dollar to get their man.

Formal contact is yet to be established between Man United and Newcastle, but that is expected to happen this week as both clubs will look to thrash out the details of a deal.

Newcastle are not ready to lose such a crucial member of their recruitment team given how he has helped turn their fortunes on and off the pitch around since his arrival.

However, they cannot hold on to someone who wants out and may need to lower their demands once the Red Devils approach them for talks.