Wed 14 Feb 2024, 10:14 · Ash Harrison

The big "will they-won't they?" story this Valentine's Day is Dan Ashworth and Manchester United

The big "will they-won't they?" story this Valentine's Day is Dan Ashworth and Manchester United
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Yesterday it was revealed that Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 20 percent buy-in of Manchester United will be formally approved this week.

After passing the owners and directors test, Ratcliffe's buy-in to Manchester United is expected to go through this week with the INEOS billionaire set to be put in charge of footballing matters at the club.

It has long been speculated that should the deal be approved, Ratcliffe would make an approach for Newcastle United's sporting director Dan Ashworth to take up the role at his new-look United.

Newcastle are bracing themselves for an approach for Ashworth

It had all gone quiet on that front for a while with the hope being that Ashworth would stay put, but now the deal is on, the story has come back with a vengeance.

Richard hughes with eddie howe and jason tindall
AFC Bournemouth
Richard Hughes with Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall

Newcastle won't make it easy, or indeed cheap, for Manchester United to poach Dan Ashworth, but the feeling is they also won't stand in his way should he want to move.

Ashworth, as recently as November, confirmed that he is happy and committed to the project at Newcastle which is still very much in its infancy, but we all know that money talks.

Who would we replace Ashworth with?

Fans appear to be divided on the idea of him leaving with some questioning what he's actually done, while others just don't want to see him join Manchester United.

For us, we're somewhere in the middle. If we can get a substantial wedge of cash for him going that's a good thing, but we also want to see what his project is going to look like.

Our biggest fear is who we'd get to replace him. Bournemouth's Richard Hughes was the front-runner last time this story came to light. At what point do we start colouring our white stripes in red and calling ourselves Bournemouth?