Sun 17 Dec 2023, 12:49 by Ash Harrison

Report: Newcastle looking for a replacement as Sporting Director could be about to leave

Report: Newcastle looking for a replacement as Sporting Director could be about to leave
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As Sir Jim Ratcliffe's buy-in of Manchester United nears completion rumours of an approach for Dan Ashworth intensify.

Let's start this one off by saying that we're taking this one with the pinchiest of pinches of salt, but 99% unlikely still leaves that 1% that something could happen.

Jim Ratcliffe is a huge admirer of Dan Ashworth and it's believed that our Sporting Director is the INEOS billionaire's first choice to come into Manchester United and put right everyone that has gone wrong since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Will Ashworth turn his back on Newcastle to move to Manchester United?

Dan Ashworth has only been in his role at Newcastle United for 18 months and he is well aware that the task ahead of him when he joined was a long-term one, therefore to think he'd up and leave so early into the project seems highly unlikely.

Jim Ratcliffe
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Jim Ratcliffe wants Dan Ashworth at Manchester United

Now The Sun is reporting that Newcastle are already eyeing replacements should Ashworth abandon his project and move to Man United. Again, this is in The Sun, so pinches of salt definitely required.

It's believed that Newcastle have Bournemouth's Richard Hughes in their sights should the worst happen. Hughes is someone that manager Eddie Howe knows well from their time together at The Cherries, which all seems a wee bit too convenient, story-wise doesn't it?

We are unconvinced to say the least

Much like when Newcastle gets linked to a superstar because we have the richest owners, just because a story makes sense when you connect two dots you created yourself, doesn't make it true.

We find it very difficult to believe that a man like Dan Ashworth would bale on a project before it has really even started to take shape. Granted, the club are ahead on their goals as things stand, but surely that's just even more incentive for Ashworth to stay put. He could over-achieve here.

Let's be honest, Manchester United is a mess of a club right now from boardroom to players nobody is on the same page. Why would Ashworth want to walk into that situation? Yeah, nah, not going to happen.

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