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Other SportsManchester United: Howe says there has been no approach or Ashworth

Manchester United: Howe says there has been no approach or Ashworth

Eddie Howe says Newcastle have yet to receive an approach from Manchester United for sporting director Dan Ashworth but the Magpies boss wants the matter dealt with swiftly.

Ashworth has been earmarked by incoming co-owner Jim Ratcliffe as the man to drive the Red Devils’ sporting strategy with United looking to prise him away from St James’ Park.

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Howe, however, insists there have been no formal discussions between the clubs.

He said: “It’s been in the news a lot and usually that means something is going to happen. But we’ve had no contact.

“It’s an unusual situation, usually there is transfer speculation on players. This is different. Whatever happens, we want a quick resolution.

“It’s a difficult one, you need longevity in that role to see the fruits of your labour. It’s a long-term position. The people that have done it best in the Premier League have always had a period of stability. Change takes a long time at a football club to get the processes how you want them to be. Dan’s had a short time here.”

Whatever happens, Howe is confident Newcastle will cope without the former Brighton man, adding: “Football always moves on quickly. I’d say that regarding the manager position. Newcastle are a huge football club and will continue to work in an efficient way regardless of who is here. We’ve got some very capable people here in all departments. We’d carry on smoothly.

“There has to be a succession plan, players and managers, there is a strategy from above. They have run the football club very well.”

Newcastle host Bournemouth tomorrow but will do so without injury-prone striker Callum Wilson, who could miss the rest of the season having undergone surgery on a pectoral muscle.

Howe added: “It was a strange injury, it’s a muscle in his pectoral. I thought he hurt his shoulder but it was his pectoral muscle – we had it scanned and he felt good but needed it operated on. He’s having the operation as we speak.

“A big blow for him. His first priority is Newcastle and it’s been a stop-start season, he takes the burden very seriously of scoring goals. He’s very disappointed. And England on the horizon too. We hope he’ll be back before the end of the season.” 

Alexander Isak is not fit for this weekend but is “very close’ while midfielder Joelinton is also not far away from a return.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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