Sir Jim Ratcliffe Sets Sights on Dan Ashworth as Sporting Director for Manchester United Overhaul

Ineos Chief Sets Aims to Revamp Recruitment Strategy as £1.25 Billion Deal Nears Ratification

In a strategic move poised to reshape Manchester United’s off-field dynamics, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, 71, and chief of Ineos, has reportedly identified Newcastle’s sporting director, Dan Ashworth, as the linchpin in his ambitious plans for the club. Ratcliffe is set to assume control of sporting operations at Old Trafford through a £1.25 billion deal, currently awaiting ratification in the coming weeks.

One of Ratcliffe’s top priorities upon taking the reins at Manchester United is the appointment of a new sporting director to overhaul the club’s recruitment strategy. While various names have circulated in connection with the role, sources indicate that Ashworth, formerly associated with Brighton and The Football Association, is the primary target for the position, according to reports from The Sun.

Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth

As Ratcliffe prepares to usher in a new era at Old Trafford, it has been revealed that Newcastle is already scouting for a potential replacement for Ashworth. Bournemouth’s technical director, Richard Hughes, has reportedly emerged as a contender to fill the void left by Ashworth’s potential move to Manchester United.

Ratcliffe is anticipated to implement significant changes to the club’s structure, with key individuals from Ineos, including his right-hand man Sir David Brailsford, likely to assume pivotal roles. The Telegraph previously reported that Ratcliffe plans to seek advice from Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson before instituting major transformations. Notably, this includes the formal appointment of a sporting director, a decision that could potentially influence the club’s pursuit of Dougie Freedman, currently holding a similar position at Crystal Palace.

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Despite Ferguson’s advocacy for Freedman, recent developments suggest that Ashworth has emerged as the frontrunner for the role. The former Brighton and FA executive is now poised to be pursued ahead of any discussions between Ratcliffe and Ferguson. The timing of the formal announcement regarding Ratcliffe’s agreement with the Glazers remains uncertain. Initially anticipated this week, delays could potentially push the announcement to post-Christmas, given the festive period’s scheduling challenges.

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