Man Utd finally agree Dan Ashworth deal with Newcastle

  • Man Utd strike compensation deal with Newcastle over director Ashworth
  • Former FA chief has been on gardening leave for over four months
  • Ashworth expected to begin work with Man Utd immediately
Man Utd have struck a deal for Ashworth
Man Utd have struck a deal for Ashworth / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

Manchester United have finally agreed a compensation deal with Newcastle United to hire Dan Ashworth as the team's new sporting director.

Ashworth has been on gardening leave at Newcastle for over four months after expressing a desire to join United, but the two clubs found themselves locked in a lengthy financial battle.

Reports suggested Newcastle were looking for close to £20m to release Ashworth from his contract, with United initially well below that figure, and it was believed that United were prepared to fund a legal battle from Ashworth to try and force through an agreement.

That will no longer be necessary as The Athletic state a deal has now been struck to take Ashworth to Old Trafford.

Ashworth is expected to begin work immediately at United as the new sporting director, working alongside technical director Jason Wilcox.

Jason Wilcox
Wilcox will report to Ashworth / Matt McNulty/GettyImages

Ashworth is set to be given responsibility for recruitment and overall performance, with Wilcox to report to the former Brighton & Hove Albion and Football Association official.

Chief executive Omar Berrada will officially join United on July 13 when his agreement with rivals Manchester City expires.

"One of the biggest issues in football, which I have to say I wasn't fully prepared for, was the gardening leave issue," a frustrated co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe told Bloomberg last month.

“I see absolutely no point in the gardening leave thing that they have in football. It just makes it difficult to change things with pace because Omar is on six months, Dan Ashworth is on one-and-a-half years.

"Newcastle are just being very difficult and very awkward about Dan. Until you get the people in, it's quite difficult to drive the change and it's just frustrating."