Manchester United risk Saudi Arabia fury as club rival mocks Newcastle United | Football | Sport

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Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher has chimed in on Manchester United’s pursuit of Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth, who has been the target of a £20million raid. Ashworth left his role as technical director of Brighton in 2022 to move to St. James’ Park. He has since been placed on gardening leave by the furious Magpies after signalling his interest to depart.

Ashworth is unable to take up any position at another club until 2026 and Newcastle are demanding £20millon in compensation, which is much above what United are willing to pay. A negotiating duel has been triggered, which could upset Newcastle’s sovereign-wealth-funded investment group

Ashworth leaving Newcastle after just 20 months in the role may seem like a bolt from the blue and could invoke the wrath of their owners, but Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has reiterated the pull that his once-great rivals hold.

Speaking on The Overlap, Carragher stated: “Newcastle are a huge football club, but they’re never going to be Man United, so if Man United come for one of their players or a manager or sporting director, they’re going to go, and I think it’s a great appointment.

“When Newcastle’s owners came in, and people were talking about the investment being huge, I was never, from a Liverpool point of view, thinking ‘this is the new team in town’ or ‘this is going to be another City or Chelsea’. I think it’s more difficult now with FFP.

“I do think Newcastle had such a great season last season but they have almost hit a ceiling a little bit when you think ‘how do you make that next jump?’ People will look at some of the players they’ve got, and Dan Ashworth, and maybe even Eddie Howe at some stage. If Gareth Southgate leaves in the summer, you’d imagine the FA would go for Eddie Howe, wouldn’t you?”

The Saudi Public Investment Fund purchased a major stake in Newcastle in October 2021, with an influx of cash affording them the likes of Sandro Tonali, Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon. Despite this inundation, United legend Roy Keane still believes the Magpies have not yet reached the fabled status of his former club.

Speaking alongside Carragher, Keane added, “He’s got a great reputation, but I don’t think a club should be so dependent. You say, ‘What will happen to Newcastle?’ You’d like to think Newcastle can survive. He left Brighton, but that’s the nature of the beast.

“From a United point of view, we’ve been speaking for the last six months of what changes they can make, and we said get the best people. And he looks like he knows what he’s doing so it’s no surprise United have gone into them.”



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