Man Utd to sign Newcastle's Dan Ashworth as new sporting director

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
16/02/2024
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Dan Ashworth to join Man United as sporting director

Ashworth has been credited for Brighton’s smart recruitment when he was at the club between 2018 and 2022.

News Insights

  • Man United are interested in Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth.
  • Ashworth is one of the most well-respected sporting directors in soccer.
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants Ashworth.
  • Brighton’s Sam Jewell could also join the club.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is trying to bring former Brighton head of recruitment and current Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth to Manchester United. The Premier League has recently approved his acquisition of 25% of Man United, opening the door for Ratcliffe to start his rebuild of Manchester United’s footballing operations. 

Ashworth has been sporting director at Newcastle since February 2022. He would be the second major Manchester United signing after they hired Man City’s former chief of footballing operations, Omar Berrada. 

Dan Ashworth wanted by Man United

Manchester United’s total rebuild of their recruiting department is now underway following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25% of the club. Ratcliffe is known in his business ventures for hiring the best of the best in their industries to lead his teams. He is now targeting Newcastle’s current sporting director Dan Ashworth. 

Ashworth, a former Norwich City youth player, is considered to be one of the best sporting directors in soccer. He got his start as an academy director at Peterborough United before moving up the EFL to join West Brom and later being offered a role at the FA. Ashworth was one of the architects of the ‘England DNA’ program that has been widely-praised for identifying and developing English youth players.

He left England for a short spell to help MLS’s Vancouver Whitecaps get off the ground in their first season in the league. Ashworth then joined Brighton in 2018, and helped turn the Seagulls into the recruiting powerhouse that they are today.

Newcastle poached Ashworth from Brighton in February 2022, and has been an integral player in the Magpies’ current success. 

Now, Manchester United want him to help them get back to the top of the Premier League and European soccer, where Ratcliffe feels they belong. 

Newcastle worried Ashworth is tempted

According to reports from England, Newcastle are very worried about the chances of losing their recruitment boss. 

Ashworth and the club have not commented on the news, but there is reportedly a growing feeling of resignation in the club that Ashworth will leave soon. 

Ashworth is under contract with Newcastle United, so it could be some time before the move is actually announced, as the clubs need to negotiate a buy-out of his contract. 

Man United recruitment team taking shape

Dan Ashworth would be the second major Manchester United signing since Ratcliffe’s investment in the club. The club have already signed Omar Berrada, Man City’s former head of footballing operations, to be their new CEO. 

Berrada and Ashworth will work side by side along with INEOS’ director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford, who is in charge of all Ratcliffe’s sporting projects. 

The club are also interested in signing Brighton’s head of recruitment Sam Jewell, who worked under Ashworth at Brighton. 

On paper, these are all very interesting signings, but they might not lead to anything right away if Man United don’t qualify for the Champions League because of FFP concerns. 

PlayUp  gives the Red Devils $6.00 odds to make the top four, so Champions League qualification is definitely within reach.