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Manchester United handed potential boost with Newcastle United lining up replacement for Dan Ashworth

Newcastle United are preparing for life without sporting director Dan Ashworth amid interest from Manchester United and have lined up a replacement, according to the Sun.

Incoming co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has identified the 52-year-old as a target for a huge role at the Old Trafford club and the Magpies want Bournemouth’s technical director Richard Hughes as his successor.

Newcastle have placed the Cherries chief on top of their wishlist, and a reunion with manager Eddie Howe could be on the cards following their time together on the south coast.

Ratcliffe has been impressed with Ashworth’s work at the St James’ Park club, and INEOS director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford is expected to offer the Newcastle chief the sporting director role at Man United.

The OGC Nice owner has expressed his shock and disappointment with the recruitment the Red Devils have made since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013 and is expected to ring the changes upon his official arrival.

Ashworth has turned Newcastle into a force to reckon with since joining from Brighton & Hove Albion last year, and Ratcliffe reckons he has what it takes to help turn the fortunes of the struggling Red Devils around.

Another scouting supremo is expected to join Ashworth or any other director of football that ends up moving to Old Trafford.

As a result, the door is open for former Tottenham Hotspur recruiter Paul Mitchell or Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman to come in.

Man United have lost 12 of their 24 games in all competitions this season, with pundits and fans insisting most of their current crop of stars are not good enough for the club.

They need a recruitment team capable of landing the best players and hidden gems across the globe, and Ashworth fits the bill.