Dan Ashworth’s first Man Utd deal in danger as Chelsea make rival move | Football

Chelsea have made the first move for Ashworth’s top target (Picture: Getty)

Dan Ashworth’s early plans for Manchester United could be scuppered before he has even started the job after Chelsea made a rival, pre-emptive move for one of his top targets.

The Newcastle chief appears to be closing in on a move to Old Trafford and has verbally agreed to become United’s first-ever sporting director.

Newcastle had hoped to convince Ashworth to stay but are now increasingly resigned to his departure, though they will demand a massive compensation package in order to waive a period of gardening leave that could last until 2025.

Ashworth’s initial, primary remit at Old Trafford will be to rebuild the club’s recruitment team and he is keen to appoint a number two beneath him to lead the new structure.

Brighton’s Sam Jewell has emerged as the leading candidate to take up the role of head of recruitment at United, having worked with Ashworth previously on the south coast.

However, it appears United are not the only club interested in securing Jewell’s services with The Telegraph reporting that Chelsea have made their own, pre-emptive offer.

The west Londoners, who have already raided Brighton a number of times for players, coaches and backroom staff, have been tracking the 34-year-old for some time.

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth

Ashworth is keen to raid old club Brighton (Picture: Getty)

They are fearful of Ashworth luring Jewell to Old Trafford with him and have therefore made an offer to poach him now in an effort to steal a march on United.

Jewell, who is the son of former Wigan boss Paul, is understood to be tempted by both offers but has yet to make a final decision, while it is also possible that he could elect to stay at Brighton.

He first moved to the club in 2016, initially as head of Under-21 recruitment, but has progressed up through the ranks and took over the head of recruitment role after Paul Winstanley left to join Chelsea.

Jewell initially took the job on an interim basis before being handed the reins permanently in February last year.

The offer on the table at Chelsea is a global scouting role in charge of negotiations for both the west Londoners as well as sister club Strasbourg.

Jewell’s role at United would be more specific to recruitment and player identification, the job he currently does at Brighton.

He is said to have played a key role in the scouting of some of South America’s best young talents, bringing the likes of Moises Caicedo and Alexis Mac Allister to Brighton before selling them for huge profits.

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