Sat 6 Jan 2024, 10:49 by Ash Harrison

Report: Newcastle now 'won't stand in the way' of 'important' figure should he want to move

Report: Newcastle now 'won't stand in the way' of 'important' figure should he want to move
Newcastle United via Getty Images
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Newcastle United are bracing themselves for a raid on their backroom with Manchester United ready to take Dan Ashworth away from the club.

It has only been 18 months since Dan Ashworth came in at St James' Park with a massive vision to completely change the way the club operates, and while a lot has been done in that time there is still a lot of work to be done.

However, it's now looking increasingly likely that Ashworth may depart Newcastle before he's really got going as Sporting Director as Sir Jim Ratcliffe is determined to have him at Manchester United to whip that club back into shape.

Jim Ratcliffe is prepared to offer Dan Ashworth silly money to switch

The two have a pre-existing relationship and it's also thought that Ratcliffe will offer Ashworth anything he wants to get him to Manchester United.

Jim Ratcliffe and ETH
Getty Images
Sir Jim Ratcliffe judging the first annual Patrick Stewart look-a-like competition

Now journalist Ben Jacobs believes Newcastle won't block the move after saying as much to GiveMeSport.

"The feeling within the industry is that an approach will come and the feeling within the industry is that Newcastle wouldn't stand in Ashworth's way if he wants to move. But Ashworth did an interview only a few months ago saying he's happy at Newcastle and he likes the project. But clearly what helps is not only Manchester United's history and the INEOS factor, because Ashworth knows them well, but also the fact that Newcastle may not be able to build on last season. So Newcastle qualifying back-to-back seasons for Champions League is one thing, but Newcastle ninth in the table, and not able to consolidate on last season, versus Manchester United with fresh new plans under INEOS might just tempt Ashworth."

We were confident that Ashworth would stay initially, but now we are starting to get the feeling that we may be looking for a new Sporting Director sooner rather than later.

I personally have mixed feelings about it. I love the vision Ashworth has set out for the club and I would love for him to stick around and see that through, but on the other side of the coin, I do find myself questioning his transfer business.

It's not the end of the world

We are almost a week into this transfer window and we have no deals even on the horizon that we know of. That's a huge faux pas given our squad issues.

Don't get me wrong, the players Ashworth has helped to bring into the club have almost all been superb, but the deals take an age to get done, and there is a question mark over the due diligence done given all that happened with Sandro Tonali.

I'm probably just picking negatives to soften the blow if he leaves, but it wouldn't really be the end of the world, would it? There are other people out there who can do the job.

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