Manchester United explored possibility of acquiring Newcastle United target prior to signing deal

Manchester United were reportedly interested in Dan Ashworth prior to him agreeing to join Newcastle United.

The former Brighton and Hove Albion technical director resigned from his role at the south coast club in February to take up “a similar role at another Premier League club.”

Newcastle have agreed terms to bring Ashworth in as a new sporting director but there has been a delay in making a formal appointment due to a nine-month notice period in the 51-year-old’s contract at Brighton.

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That means The Magpies may have to wait until November or pay the £5million fee Brighton are reportedly demanding to release Ashworth from his contract.

Dan Ashworth. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

At the turn of the year, Ashworth was also on Manchester United’s radar – according to The Athletic.

While there was no formal approach made by The Red Devils, they reportedly made contact regarding the possibility of acquiring Ashworth as part of their pre-existing set-up behind the scenes.

A move was considered but the role at the head of Newcastle’s strategic development under new ownership proved too good an opportunity to turn down as it was more in keeping with his roles at Brighton, The Football Association and West Bromwich Albion previously.

Newcastle now face a difficult decision to either pay the multi-million-pound buy-out to acquire Ashworth ahead of a crucial summer transfer window or wait until November once the 2022-23 season is well under way.

When Ashworth agreed to join Newcastle, they were still in the Premier League relegation zone, now they sit ninth on 43 points with four games left to play.

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