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“Very persuasive…” Sir David Brailsford planning shock swoop for ‘dream’ Man United sporting director



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Manchester United’s incoming Ineos chief Sir David Brailsford is targeting a swoop for Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth.

The Ineos leadership is expected to take control of footballing operations at Old Trafford in the coming weeks and a new sporting director is one of the first appointments they will be making at United.

Paul Mitchell – formerly of Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton – is regarded as the frontrunner for the role, but Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth has also been reportedly a target for Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s team.

The Geordies are expectedly keen to do all they can to resist losing the man who has been key to their improvements since being taken over last year. The 52-year-old has also recently stated his intentions to remain at St James’ Park.

However, according to inews, that has not put off the incoming United regime – with Brailsford the prime mover – from attempting to entice him to Old Trafford.

Brailsford, who will be part of a new three-man committee overseeing football operations at United, has not given up on tempting his long-standing friend Ashworth into joining him at Old Trafford.

According to a source close to Brailsford, Ashworth’s recent comments suggesting he will remain at Newcastle will not stop him from trying to persuade his ‘dream’ sporting director to make a move.

“He can be very persuasive,” the source said. “Mitchell is the sensible choice – he wants it and is available. But Dave will want his dream appointment. And that is Ashworth, who he knows very well.

“Man United and Dave together might be hard to turn down.”

Brailsford and Ashworth 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 St James’ Park.