Tue 28 May 2024, 14:00 · Ash Harrison

Newcastle holding 'positive' talks with sporting director candidate following Dougie Freedman rejection - journalist

Newcastle holding 'positive' talks with sporting director candidate following Dougie Freedman rejection - journalist
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Crystal Palace's head of recruitment Dougie Freedman recently turned down the job offer to become Newcastle United's new sporting director leaving the Magpies with more work to do to find a replacement for Dan Ashworth.

Dougie Freedman's U-turn came as a bit of a shock after going all the way through the recruitment process, being offered the job and then opting to stay put, but such is life.

Now Newcastle have to continue their search to find a sporting director to pick up where Dan Ashworth left off when he quit ... that's right, Dan, you quit, you weren't sacked.

Rumours before the role was offered to Freedman were that it was a two-horse race between Freedman and 777 Group's sporting director Johannes Spors.


Johannes Spors looks to be the leading candidate for Newcastle

Now Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has said via X that talks are progressing with Spors and Newcastle.

"Talks ongoing between Newcastle United and Johannes Spors over the vacant Sporting Director role.
"One source has described the talks as positive"

We're still not sold on Spors, but it's purely based on where he works now over what he's personally achieved.


We may be judging Spors too harshly based on his current employer

The 777 Group are the outfit behind the failed Everton takeover who also own large stakes in sides like Standard Liege, Genoa and Hertha Berlin amongst others.

Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden spent time at Standard Liege this season and cut his loan there when it came to light that players weren't being paid. There have been fan protests at several clubs run by 777, so they aren't exactly covering themselves in glory.

With Spors being their current sporting director, it doesn't paint him in a good light either. However, before taking up that role, he has had a decent career at other clubs around Europe, most notably RB Leipzig who have a fantastic record of recruiting players and selling them on for huge profit.

Granted that's not the model Newcastle are going for, but it does show that he has an eye for talent.