Newcastle offer huge Dan Ashworth update as Man Utd negotiations continue

  • Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave after asking to leave Newcastle
  • Man Utd are looking to add Ashworth to their new boardroom
  • Reports suggest Newcastle could demand £20m in compensation
Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave
Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

Newcastle United have confirmed director Dan Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave after asking to leave the club.

Ashworth, who joined Newcastle as sporting director in May 2022, is Manchester United's top target to take up a role in their recruitment department, and it was reported earlier on Monday that he had asked to be freed from his contract to move to Old Trafford.

Confirming the news, a Newcastle statement read: "Newcastle United can announce that Dan Ashworth has commenced a period of gardening leave."

Darren Eales, Newcastle United CEO, added: "We are naturally disappointed that Dan has chosen to leave, however our exciting journey doesn't stop and the process to recruit a new sporting director will begin immediately.

"We thank Dan for his efforts at Newcastle United and we wish him and his family well for the future."

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While Ashworth may be on gardening leave, a deal has not yet been agreed to take him to Man Utd.

Ashworth remains under contract at St. James' Park and it is up to Man Utd to offer appropriate compensation to convince Newcastle to terminate his contract. Reports suggest the Magpies could demand up to £20m.

United are expected to try and negotiate themselves a discount on that fee but Newcastle are reluctant to part ways with Ashworth for cheap.

The Guardian state that Ashworth's contract with Newcastle includes a clause which forbids him from starting a new role until at least 2026 unless sufficient compensation is paid.