Manchester United and Sir Jim Ratcliffe dealt brutal blow amid £20 million standoff

Dan Ashworth is on gardening leave from Newcastle United
-Credit: (Image: PA)

There is still no end in sight in Manchester United's pursuit of sporting director Dan Ashworth.

And in the week Sir Jim Ratcliffe reiterated his feelings on the situation and Newcastle United's 'awkward' approach, the Magpies have dug their heels in and doubled down. Ashworth is currently on gardening leave as United seek to conclude a deal to bring him to Old Trafford as part of the behind the scenes Ineos revolution.

But, according to the Newcastle Chronicle, the Magpies are prepared to make United wait 18 months and are unfazed by Ratcliffe's latest comments on the situation. The two clubs have yet to agree a compensation figure for transfer supremo, who resigned in February. It is understood Newcastle are holding out for a financial package as high as £20million having turned down a reported £3m offer from United.

ALSO READ: Neves in, Gallagher decision, Mainoo partner - Man United dream midfield with £140m move

ALSO READ: Double signing, £60m deal and Euro 2024 gem - The transfer trend United can exploit

United are prepared to wait to appoint Ashworth but have given short shrift to that £20m price tag for a sporting director, while the Reds are reluctant to strengthen Newcastle's Profit and Sustainability position with the Premier League.

Ashworth will be free of his legal framework in 18 months time, but that timescale and the unwillingness of Newcastle to compromise has not impressed Ratcliffe.

Speaking to Bloomberg this week he said: “I see no point in the gardening leave thing they have in football. Dan Ashworth is on one and a half years (of gardening leave).

“(With) Jason Wilcox, we’ve had a very sensible conversation with Southampton and we managed to find a solution to that. But Newcastle are just being very awkward and very difficult about Dan. Until you get the people in, it’s difficult to change (the club). It’s just frustrating.”