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Newcastle United director Dan Ashworth open to joining Manchester United as he is made their top target to become sporting director

Manchester United have identified Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth as their main target to become the club’s sporting director, according to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein.

The Premier League finally approved Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority stake in United yesterday after the Glazers agreed to sell 25% of their stake in December.

The British billionaire is now in charge of the football structure at Man United, and while no approach has been made to Newcastle, the Red Devils are expected to go after Ashworth.

The 52-year-old is open to the opportunity of joining the Old Trafford club, but no agreement is in place for him to move there.

Having struggled with their recruitment since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013, Ratcliffe is desperate for Man United to finally start getting it right, and he is convinced Ashworth is the best candidate for the job.

The former West Bromwich Albion and Brighton & Hove Albion technical director has a proven track record, helping them recruit talented players for decent fees.

He joined Newcastle in February 2022 and they finished fourth last season and also reached the final of the League Cup.

Man United have not enjoyed much success in their recruitment, and having Ashworth in charge would be a major boost given his experience and ability to spot the right players.

Splashing the cash on the likes of Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Angel Di Maria, Anthony Martial, Antony, Casemiro, Donny van de Beek and Mason Mount has yielded little return.

The £1.4 billion they have spent on recruitment since 2013 has produced just one FA Cup, two League Cups and a Europa League title.

Getting their recruitment right going forward is very crucial if Man United want to become a force to reckon with again.

However, persuading Newcastle to part with Ashworth will not be easy as they are desperate to hold on to one of the best operators in the transfer market.