Newcastle have reportedly identified a replacement for sporting director Dan Ashworth as they brace to lose his services to Manchester United.
A recent report covered by The Peoples Person indicated that as Sir Jim Ratcliffe closes in on his partial 25% investment into United, he is primarily concerned with appointing the right personnel to key positions.
The INEOS billionaire is expected to be granted control of United’s sporting operations.
It’s understood that Ratcliffe is a fan of Ashworth and the job he has done at Newcastle since arriving at St James’ Park from Brighton.
Newcastle were said to be adamant they would not lose their transfer guru under any circumstances, especially to a direct Premier League rival but according to The Sun, that stance may have softened.
Eddie Howe’s said are believed to now be alive to the fact that Ashworth could join Ratcliffe’s revolution at Old Trafford.
If that happens, the Magpies have lined up Bournemouth chief Richard Hughes as a replacement.
“The Toon are braced for a call that will take their sporting director Dan Ashworth to Manchester United once the protracted buy-in by Sir Jim Ratcliffe takes place.”
“Ashworth, 52, is first choice for the football supremo role should Ratcliffe and sidekick Sir Dave Brailsford finally take 25 per cent of Old Trafford.”
The Sun adds that a job position at United could convince Ashworth to quit Newcastle.
“Newcastle can place Ashworth on gardening leave for an extended period of time — as Brighton did when they lost him — but they would need a top replacement.”
Howe would be pleased with Hughes’ joining Newcastle.
The pair previously worked together during Howe’s managerial stint with the Cherries.