Newcastle send message to Dan Ashworth after he is 'immediately released' to Manchester United

Newcastle United have confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Manchester United for the 'immediate release' of Dan Ashworth.

Ashworth was placed on gardening leave way back in February, but it took the clubs some time to strike a deal to end the sporting director's lengthy notice period. In fact, it was just last week that Manchester United part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe slammed Newcastle for being 'very difficult' and 'very awkward'.

Newcastle had initially demanded up to £20m to allow Ashworth to start work at Manchester United. This, after all, was a senior figure in a position of power who had 'a lot of intelligence and information' in the words of Eddie Howe.

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Manchester United, however, hit out at those demands, which Sir Jim called 'silly', and the billionaire said it was 'absurd' that Ashworth could be sidelined until next year if the Red Devils did not pay up having taken note of what Newcastle paid to end the 53-year-old's notice period at Brighton. Although the terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, a breakthrough has finally been reached.

"Newcastle United and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the immediate release of Dan Ashworth from his contractual obligations at Newcastle United." a brief club statement read. "The terms of this agreement will remain confidential between the clubs. Newcastle United thanks Dan for his service and wishes him well for the future."

Newcastle previously hoped to bring in Dougie Freedman as Ashworth's replacement, but the Magpies have navigated the summer window without a sporting director so far.