Dan Ashworth met with another Premier League club during gardening leave

Dan Ashworth met with another Premier League club during gardening leave

Dan Ashworth reportedly had a meeting with Wolves after being placed on gardening leaving by Newcastle without informing his employers. 

In the latest twist to the sporting director’s tumultuous break-up with the Magpies, Ashworth is believed to have met with his Wolves counterpart Matt Hobbs at the club’s training ground in March. 

Ashworth informed Newcastle of his wish to join Manchester United as their new sporting director in February and was placed on gardening leave, a period that minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has suggested expires towards the end of 2025.

Newcastle have been waiting for the Red Devils to make a reasonable offer, which so far has not gone beyond £2million.

According to the i, Ashworth met with the Wolves sporting director without the knowledge of the Magpies.

Dan Ashworth reportedly met with his Wolves counterpart while on gardening leave without informing Newcastle

Ashworth is believed to have met his Wolves sporting director Matt Hobbs

Ashworth is believed to have met his Wolves sporting director Matt Hobbs

The report claims that United were made aware of the meeting ‘sometime after the event’ after reports linked Wolves boss Gary O’Neil the Old Trafford job. They state there is no suggestion Ashworth was involved in any discussion at United about the O’Neil. 

It comes after Mail Sport reported that Ashworth sent an email to a Newcastle address inadvertently revealing he was being tapped up by incoming Manchester United chief executive Omar Berrada- who was still on gardening leave from Manchester City.

Mail Sport revealed that the pair had a conversation in early February and Ashworth followed that up by sending an email to Berrada – at an INEOS account – making it clear he wanted to accept the opportunity of becoming Man United’s sporting director.

However, Ashworth sent a blind copy to his own Newcastle email address, clumsily disclosing to the club the covert negotiations with Berrada. Man United, at this point, had not informed Newcastle of their interest in Ashworth.

Berrada does not officially start at Old Trafford until July 13 and he had been on gardening leave from Man City for less than a month when engaging with Ashworth, potentially breaching the terms of his contract.

Ashworth, Mail Sport understands, also disclosed details to Berrada of the agreement between Newcastle and Brighton that took him to St James’ Park in the summer of 2022. This would likely be a breach of confidentiality to each of Newcastle and Brighton.

Ratcliffe appeared to aim a dig at Newcastle in April when he said: ‘One of the biggest problems we have in football is we get these new guys to come into the team, they’re really capable people, but they’re all on gardening leave. So it takes six months, a year or even 18 months (for them to start) It’s a real issue in football at the moment.’

Manchester United have so far refused to meet Newcastle's demands for compensation to release Ashworth. Pictured: Majority owner Avram Glazer and minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Manchester United have so far refused to meet Newcastle’s demands for compensation to release Ashworth. Pictured: Majority owner Avram Glazer and minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Ashworth has been on gardening leave since informing Newcastle he wanted to join Man United in February

Ashworth has been on gardening leave since informing Newcastle he wanted to join Man United in February 

In February, Ratcliffe said: ‘I think it’s a bit silly, personally. 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.

The Premier League have not received any complaint. Their rule book states that each club, director and official should behave towards each other with the ‘utmost good faith’ and it would be a breach if they were to ‘act dishonestly towards another club’ or ‘engage in conduct that is intended to circumvent these rules’.

United confirmed that under-fire boss Erik ten Hag will remain in post and there have been conversations over a new contract.  

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