Man Utd planning approach for Newcastle sporting director Ashworth

Manchester United are planning to make a formal approach to Newcastle for sporting director Dan Ashworth.

It is understood the Newcastle chief is top of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's list to front up his new football operation at Old Trafford, although no formal approach has yet been made.

Newcastle would be reluctant to let Ashworth leave but the 52-year-old is privately open to exploring the potential opportunity to join Man Utd.

Newcastle are bracing themselves for a formal approach, but agreeing compensation to secure Ashworth's services would be problematic after he only joined Newcastle two years ago.

Man Utd would ideally want him in place this summer to oversee their transfer overhaul as INEOS take control over the football operation.