According to the i’s Mark Douglas, sources at Brighton believe Dan Ashworth will ‘soon’ become Newcastle United’s new Director of Football.
Sky Sports revealed last month that we’d been given permission to hold talks with the highly-rated 50-year-old, while The Athletic and The Telegraph also claimed he was a serious contender for the vacancy in December.
Several weeks later, some feel it was a mistake that we failed to bring in a Director of Football and CEO ahead of the January transfer window, with Mark Douglas revealing that Newcastle’s negotiating team is currently made up of co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben.
However, it sounds like Ashworth – who left a role within the England set up to join Brighton – is tempted by the project on offer at St James’ Park after helping transform the Seagulls from relegation contenders to top 10 hopefuls over the past three years.
Here’s what Mark Douglas revealed in his latest piece for the i:
Newcastle’s negotiating team – led by co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben with Head of Recruitment Steve Nickson recommending players – know the tension is ratcheting up.
They pride themselves on a methodical approach but it always felt like a gamble not having a Director of Football and CEO in place in good time for January.
Sources at Brighton think Dan Ashworth will fill that role soon, and they desperately need a “club builder” with experience of football to pull the club’s competing strategies together.
Brighton CEO Paul Barber has also had to say on Ashworth’s future when speaking at a fans’ forum event earlier this week:
“I hope Dan stays for as long as possible. There are always going to be options for our best people, whether they are players, coaches, staff to take other opportunities as they come along.
“To some extent we cannot control that, obviously. Our policy, again being very open, is always when we are approached by other clubs for our staff is that we want our staff to go and have that conversation if that is what they have been invited to do.
“Because sometimes, and in fact in a lot of cases, they go to those conversations, they look at what the option is and then they come all the way back to us and say, ‘Actually I am very happy where I am and I like where I am.’
“Whereas if you block them from that opportunity it can build resentment and then you deny someone a career opportunity and they resent the club for it and then at some point in the future it will end anyway. So we hope Dan stays for a long time.”