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Sir Jim Ratcliffe holds face-to-face talks with Amanda Staveley to sort out Dan Ashworth’s Manchester United move

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has met with his Newcastle United counterpart Amanda Staveley to hold face-to-face talks over a deal for Dan Ashworth, according to The Times.

The Red Devils want to bring the former Magpies sporting director to the Old Trafford club, but he has been placed on an 18-month gardening leave unless Man United come up with a compensation package worth about £15 million.

The Theatre of Dreams club believe the figure is too high, and Ratcliffe met Staveley within the past week for talks, with negotiations continuing in a bid to agree a deal.

John Murtough stepped down as Man United football director this week, and it is believed that it indicates progress is being made in their attempt to bring Ashworth to Old Trafford following the intervention from Ratcliffe.

The INEOS owner admires Ashworth and is desperate to get him working for his side as soon as possible, with Man United looking to start their major squad overhaul process during the upcoming summer transfer window.

With targets already being identified, the Red Devils need a sporting director in place for things to progress and go smoothly, and Ratcliffe will hope Newcastle can reach an agreement with Man United over Ashworth in the coming weeks.

Southampton’s director of football Jason Wilcox has also agreed a move to join the Red Devils, but his arrival is similarly being delayed until a compensation agreement can be reached with the Saints.

Wilcox will join Man United as technical director, and he is expected to arrive before Ashworth as more time could be required for the club to finalise talks with Newcastle.

The Red Devils have already snapped up chief executive Omar Berrada from Manchester City, with his work commencing in the summer, and Ratcliffe will hope recruiting the best hands in the game can help turn the Red Devils into a force to reckon with once again.

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