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FootballDan Ashworth to take legal action over stalling Manchester United move

Dan Ashworth to take legal action over stalling Manchester United move

Dan Ashworth is set to take Newcastle to court over his stalling move to Premier League giants Manchester United.

The 53-year-old – who has been placed on gardening leave by the Magpies – is trying to force a move to the Red Devils to become their new sporting director.

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But talks are at an impasse between the two clubs, with the Tynesiders demanding around £20million to let him go and Man Utd unwilling to meet their demands.

According to The Athletic, the matter is now likely to be decided by a third-party court of arbitration.

Ashworth will be hoping that his threatening move prompts Newcastle into lowering their asking price, but Sir Jim Ratcliffe and new shareholders Ineos are hoping to pay a fee similar to the £5m Newcastle paid to Brighton in 2022.

His contract at St James’ Park runs until 2025, meaning the Magpies could technically keep him on gardening leave until then.

But with the matter becoming increasingly messy, it seems the issue will likely be resolved sooner rather than later.

Sir Jim recently praised Ashworth, saying: “I think Dan Ashworth is clearly one of the top sporting directors in the world, I’ve no doubt.

“He’s a very capable person. He’s interested in the Manchester United job because it’s probably the biggest sporting director job in the world just now, with the biggest challenge.

‘We’ve obviously had words with Newcastle. They would clearly be disappointed to lose Dan.

“But what I do think is completely absurd is suggesting a man who is really good at his job sits in his garden for one-and-a-half years. That’s completely stupid.”

The case is set to begin in May and is expected to last for a number of weeks.

Mitch Fretton
Mitch Fretton
Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.
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