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Dan Ashworth expected to join Manchester United as sporting director next week

Dan Ashworth expected to join Manchester United as sporting director next week

Manchester United are on the cusp of completing arguably their most important signing ahead of a crucial debut summer transfer window in the Sir Jim Ratcliffe era.

The Daily Mail reports that United and Newcastle are expected to reach an agreement over the 52-year-old talent spotter who has been a long-term target for the Red Devils.

Since Ratcliffe first announced an intention to purchase a 25% stake in United and subsequently take over footballing operations, plenty of changes were expected around Old Trafford, especially within the recruitment team.

In the absence of a recognised sporting director, United have relied on football director John Murtough and assistant Darren Fletcher to handle the club’s transfer business.

United manager Erik ten Hag had also been handed an influential role in assembling his squad, but Ratcliffe’s arrival is expected to shake things up in the boardroom.

Ashworth has been on United’s radar for a while, but the Red Devils have also considered other prominent names like former Liverpool duo Michael Edwards and Julian Ward.

Newcastle are reluctant to let Ashworth depart, but the Englishman’s limited control at St James’ Park has forced him to reconsider his long-term future at the club.

Ashworth is eager to switch allegiances, and United are expected to launch an official proposal in the coming days, with the club hoping to reach a swift agreement.

United have sanctioned some questionable moves in the transfer market over the past decade. 

Ratcliffe had previously expressed an eagerness to revamp the recruitment crew and believes Ashworth is the ideal candidate to assemble a new-look team capable of competing for the biggest trophies in club football.

United would be required to fork out a compensation fee while a lengthy gardening leave could also be on the table, but Ashworth remains keen to join the Old Trafford giants.

The lure of the project at United and his relationship with INEOS director of sport, Sir Dave Brailsford, has persuaded Ashworth to join the ranks at the Theatre of Dreams.