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Manchester United are looking to raid a Premier League rival for a top sporting director: report

Manchester United are looking to raid a Premier League rival for a top sporting director: report

General view of Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium from the outside in October 2023.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United are seriously considering a move for Dan Ashworth at Newcastle as they look to bolster their recruitment under the stewardship of Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Manchester United are eyeing Newcastle’s director of football, Dan Ashworth, as a potential candidate to lead their new footballing department under Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

A report from 90min states that, as part of Ratcliffe’s 25 per cent acquisition of the Red Devils anticipated later this month, he wants to shake up the recruitment team, with Ashworth being one of the names considered.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Manchester United

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to invest in Manchester United (Image credit: Getty Images)

Ratcliffe wants to take over the football operations department, with Sir Dave Brailsford, the director of sport at Ineos, set to play a pivotal role in this process. Brailsford, a trusted confidant of Ratcliffe, is conducting an inquiry into the club’s operations, with the ambition of identifying areas for improvement.

He has extensive experience in top-level sport, including his role as Team Principal for INEOS’ Tour de France team, the Grenadiers, and involvement with Ligue 1 side Nice, will look to bring in his own staff to reshape that particular department of United.

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Following the departure of Richard Arnold, the club intends to appoint a new chief executive officer. Former Paris Saint-Germain director Jean-Claude Blanc is reportedly expected to fill that role.

But the club are after a sporting director – and Magpies chief Ashworth is believed to be a candidate. Meanwhile, Paul Mitchell, formerly of Tottenham and Monaco, is considered for the role of head of recruitment, in what would be a stellar cast of names bolstering Man Utd’s backroom staff.

Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell is one candidate for if United don’t land Ashworth (Image credit: Getty)

Former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards was considered but Ashworth is now the preferred choice for Brailsford, who has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the former Brighton director for many years.

It’s reported that last year Ashworth invited Brailsford to address the Newcastle squad at St James’ Park, where he called him, ‘the best in world sport at creating high-performance culture and turning that into winning.’

More Manchester United stories

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid and France star Antoine Griezmann. Meanwhile, a former Barcelona defender could potentially be on his way to Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford could also be set to join him, having agreed personal terms with Barcelona. Almost half a year after leaving Manchester United as a free agent, David de Gea could be close to sealing a move to a new club

Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag has defended his training methods as the injuries pile up – with Mason Mount the latest player set for a spell on the sidelines.

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Jacque Talbot is a freelance football journalist who predominantly specialises in transfer stories and exclusives. He began his career in 2016 covering the world-renowned Sandbach United, of North West Counties fame, before earning a spot on the sports desks of national papers, where he bounced between several outlets such as Sportbible, the Express, Mirror, and Daily Star. An NCTJ graduate of the News Associates who swapped investigative journalism in the Costa del Sol for football reporting in Northern England, he first wrote for FourFourTwo in December 2023.

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