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Dan Ashworth addressed Man United interest as sporting director becomes ‘top target’ for Sir Jim Ratcliffe



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Credit: Newcastle United

Dan Ashworth has addressed Manchester United’s interest in him as Sir Jim Ratcliffe makes the Newcastle sporting director a ‘top target’.

Ashworth, 52, previously FA director of elite development, has shown success within the Premier League in recent years both with Newcastle and Brighton in a sporting director role.

He has been key behind The Magpies’ progression since their takeover last year but has been considered as an option to join the new-look sporting project at United under Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

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When questioned about interest from Old Trafford last month, Ashworth played down any potential move.

“[I’m in the] same situation as Eddie [Howe], I think,” he told The Mirror. “I’m really happy, it’s a brilliant city, club and project. I’m thoroughly engaged in throwing myself into all of those things and really enjoying the challenge.”

“No [I don’t have a release clause]! Not that I’m aware of anyway.”

However, since these comments, reports have emerged which state Ashworth in the ‘top target’ for Ratcliffe and INEOS.

Sir David Brailsford could also play a key role in changing Ashworth’s mind. The INEOS director will not be stopped from trying to lure the sporting director despite his public insistence to remain at St James’ Park.

Expected to play a major role at United, Brailsford has been described as ‘very persuasive’ amid the chase for his ‘dream’ target in Ashworth.

The pair are close, with their relationship going back many years. It was only last year when Ashworth invited Brailsford to address his Newcastle squad after he arrived at the club.