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Dan Ashworth heads to arbitration to force Man United move

Former Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth is set to take the club to arbitration to expedite his move to Manchester United, according to The Athletic.

Ashworth informed Newcastle of the approach in February, and the Magpies placed him on gardening leave. 

Newcastle reportedly want a hefty £20 million compensation fee for the 53-year-old, but United refused to pay it, leading to the involvement of a third party.

With United’s backing, Ashworth’s arbitration case is expected to begin in May and last several weeks. 

Man United are plotting a major rebuild this summer under new part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe. 

Manchester City’s Omar Berrada is slated to take the Chief Executive Officer reins this summer, while Jason Wilcox has already settled in as technical director after leaving Southampton. 

Wilcox is set to report directly to Ashworth, who is poised to oversee all aspects of football performance, recruitment and operations.

Before his short stint at Newcastle started in February 2022, Ashworth honed his expertise at West Bromwich Albion, the Football Association and Brighton & Hove Albion. 

With Ashworth’s departure imminent, Newcastle have already started searching for a replacement.

Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman is emerging as a potential candidate to take over the Newcastle sporting director job. 

However, United are also reportedly interested in Freedman, eyeing him for their head of recruitment role. 

United’s summer will be a whirlwind of changes, which the club desperately needs. The arrival of Ashworth, Berrada and Wilcox will complete the restructuring. 

The disastrous season has exposed fundamental flaws in the squad, and a complete refresh is necessary. 

Ashworth’s expertise in recruitment will be crucial, but he’ll have to navigate a tightrope. 

United must be shrewd in the transfer market as Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR) will restrict excessive spending. Finding quality players within these constraints will be a true test of Ashworth’s abilities.

This summer transfer window will be the first chapter in a long journey as United try to bridge the gap between the glorious past and a much-desired future.

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