Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ‘agree’ eye-watering compensation fee for Dan Ashworth as first Red Devils signing explodes into life

Dan Ashworth is targeting a move to bringJuventus defender Gleison Bremer to Man Utd

Dan Ashworth is targeting a move to bring Gleison Bremer to Man Utd

Manchester United are reportedly on the cusp of finalising the appointment of Dan Ashworth from Newcastle as the club’s first-ever sporting director but for a record-breaking fee and with reports in Italy detailing the player likely to become his first signing at Old Trafford.

New minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe has wasted little time in assembling a crack team of the game’s most-respected names to ensure Manchester United have the best chance possible of returning themselves back among the English and European elite. Having spent £1.4bn to acquire 27.7% of the Glazers’ shares, the British businessman hopes to quickly hack away at the domination enjoyed by the likes of noisy neighbours Manchester City, whom he readily admits he’d love to “knock off their perch”.

To kick things off, Ratcliffe has brought in CEO Omar Berrada from Manchester City, while Jean-Claude Blanc – currently employed by INEOS anyway – is expected to join as a director, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his days with both PSG and Juventus.

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However, the biggest behind-the-scenes appointment is about to officially get confirmation with United having moved to appoint Ashworth as the club’s first-ever sporting director. Arriving with a big reputation for his work with the FA, Brighton and most recently, Newcastle, the 52-year-old is one of the most respected names in the game.

United’s approach for Ashworth, though, has angered the Magpies, whom are thought to be raging that Ashworth has decided to jump ship less than two years after stepping into his role at St James’.

Placing him on gardening leave as a result, Ashworth’s current arrangement is believed to run for an initial two more years, and ensures Newcastle have taken a strong-arm approach to negotiations over his release.

Man Utd agree Dan Ashworth agreement

Per reports emanating in the North-East, the Magpies are demanding a £21m package for Ashworth in compensation, arguing that his breach of contract, together with the hole he leaves at the club, entitles them to such a figure.

Now reports in Italy claim United have ‘relucantly agreed’ to meet those demands, with Ratcliffe keen to get Ashworth in place as soon as possible and needing him to officially start preparations for what is expected to be a big summer window at Old Trafford.

United did try and offer Newcastle reduced terms for the 52-year-old, but it’s reported Newcastle have stood their ground, leaving United with little choice but to meet those demands.

However, the fee is eye-wateringly eye and will smash the record pay-out made for a director of football / sporting director in the British game.

Moreover, the fee also sits among the highest compensation amounts ever forked out, with this list here revealing the three most costly managerial appointments of all time.

From a United point of view, they have – in Ratcliffe’s view, at least – wasted far too many millions on failed signings over the years. With Ashworth’s reputation as one of the best around, the Red Devils will see the investment made for the 52-year-old as a sound investment and future-proofing themselves against so many big mistakes in the future.

Ashworth gets to work on first Man Utd signing

With Ashworth to imminently get his feet under the desk at Old Trafford, he will now start working on United’s summer recruitment, with Ratcliffe and Co hoping to strengthen the spine of United’s side.

To that end, they reportedly want a new defender, midfielder and striker at the minimum, while a new right-winger, is also on their radar.

Now reports in Italy claim Ashworth is pushing rapidly forward with plans to strengthen his defence, having identified Juventus’ Gleison Bremer as a primary target.

The Bianconeri will likely need to sell a top asset this summer to help balance the books and the Brazil defender looks a prime candidate to leave.

The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the best centre-halves in Italy and has reportedly made clear his interest in moving to the Premier League.

Juve, for their part, will not let him leave on the cheap. However, during what has been described as preliminary talks between the clubs, it’s reported they have quoted United a price of €60m to €70m (£51m to £60m).

Despite that it’s claimed Ashworth feels his signing would be worth it and would help the Red Devils fix a defence that has so far shipped an alarming 39 goals in just 27 games, leaving the club with an embarrassing -2 goal difference as things stand.

Per the report, Bremer will likely become the first new signing of the Ratcliffe era, with Ashworth now reportedly ready to push forward with negotiations to bring in the formerr Torino man.

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