Man Utd learn Newcastle's hefty Dan Ashworth price tag

  • Man Utd want Dan Ashworth to become club's first ever sporting director
  • Newcastle demanding hefty compensation package to release him from contract
  • Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave ahead of negotiations between clubs
Man Utd will have to cough up to take Ashworth from Newcastle
Man Utd will have to cough up to take Ashworth from Newcastle / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Newcastle United are holding out for a hefty £20m compensation fee from Manchester United after placing sporting director Dan Ashworth on gardening leave, according to multiple reports.

Man Utd's incoming shareholders INEOS, headed up by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, are looking to restructure the club's hierarchy and want to appoint the Red Devils' first ever sporting director in a bid to revolutionise how they operate in the transfer market.

They quickly identified Ashworth as their top target and made an approach to him last week, with the 52-year-old informing Newcastle of the offer and later his desire to move to Old Trafford.

The Athletic report Ashworth has now been placed on gardening leave by Newcastle, who are unwilling to release him from his contract and want £20m from Man Utd in order to let him go.

Newcastle are yet to be formally contacted by Man Utd over Ashworth but the two clubs are expected to discuss terms in the near future.

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In a press conference on Friday, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe admitted he was concerned about the prospect of Ashworth taking the club's transfer secrets and contract plans to a competitive rival, though insisted most of the Magpies' best signings in recent years were not under his jurisdiction.

Ashworth joined Newcastle in the summer of 2022 after a three-month period of gardening leave at Brighton & Hove Albion, where he spent three years as technical director. Prior to that, he served as England's director of development from 2013 to 2018 after six years as West Bromwich Albion's sporting director.

Across his time as a sporting and technical director, Ashworth has established himself as one of English football's best talent-spotters.