Man United owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe makes Dan Ashworth transfer admission after Newcastle talks

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has admitted that Manchester United's summer transfer plans have been hampered by not having Dan Ashworth in place.

Manchester United have so far failed to reach a breakthrough with Newcastle United to end Ashworth's lengthy notice period after the sporting director was placed on gardening leave back in February. Sir Jim previously said Newcastle's initial demands, of up to £20m, were 'silly' and the Manchester United part-owner hissed it was 'absurd' that Ashworth could be left sidelined until next year if the Red Devils did not pay up.

Having introduced a number of cost-cutting measures, and noted what Newcastle paid Brighton to end Ashworth's previous notice period two years ago, Manchester United are reluctant to cough up and have ploughed on without the 53-year-old for now.

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"We're in the middle of that transfer period," Sir Jim told Bloomberg. "So we're doing what every other club is doing, which is looking at the holes in our squad, where we want to plug the holes and what are the possibilities out there in the marketplace.

"I'm not confident that we will solve all the problems in the first transfer window. It will take time. Also, bear in mind, Omar [Berrada], Dan and Jason [Wilcox], who are the key pillars of the sports side are not all in place. We've only got Jason in place so we're a bit handicapped in that sense.

"I think we will do a fairly good job but it's not going to answer all the problems this first season. We will take two or three summer windows to get to a better place."