Man Utd to poach sporting director from direct Premier League rivals under ambitious Sir Jim Ratcliffe plan
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Sir Jim Ratcliffe is expected to bring sweeping changes to Manchester United, including poaching a sporting director from a Premier League rival.
Ratcliffe is awaiting ratification of his minority 25 per cent investment in the club, which has been owned by the Glazer family since 2005.
Though the Americans - despised by many United fans - will remain in control at Old Trafford, Ratcliffe looks set to overhaul United's recruitment department as part of his investment.
As part of the reshuffle, the British billionaire is reportedly keen to poach Newcastle United's sporting director Dan Ashworth.
According to talkSPORT, Ratcliffe has been impressed by the work Ashworth has done since becoming Newcastle's sporting director in 2022.
Ashworth's work has helped Saudi PIF-owned Newcastle transform from a relegation-threatened side to one competing in the Champions League.
He has an impressive CV, having previously held the positions of director of elite development at the FA and technical director at Brighton & Hove Albion.
It could prove significant that Ashworth has a long-standing relationship with Ratcliffe’s right-hand man Sir Dave Brailsford. In 2022, Ashworth asked the former Team GB cycling chief to address the Newcastle squad during their pre-season training camp in Portugal. Brailsford is expected to have a say in any appointment Ratcliffe makes.
Newcastle would likely put up a fight to not only keep Ashworth at St James' Park, but to prevent him from joining a direct Premier League rival in United.
TalkSPORT have reported that sources close to Ashworth say he is happy in his current role with the Magpies.
Ashworth would certainly have his work cut out should he take up the challenge of returning United to the top of world football.
Erik ten Hag's squad is lacking in depth and quality in certain areas, and would need some serious reinforcements to challenge for the Premier League title or Champions League.