It would seem that Dan Ashworth is already making an impression at Manchester United, despite being on gardening leave from Newcastle, having already met with Erik ten Hag’s likely replacement.

After the two clubs agree on a transfer fee, the Newcastle sports director will move to Old Trafford. They are unable to reach a mutually agreeable sum for his services, leaving the Red Devils with two options.

They should either hold talks for the Magpies to release him early and negotiate an additional compensation amount. The other option is to let the 52-year-old fulfill his contract conditions and wait for his gardening leave to end.

After snatching Omar Berrada away from Manchester City, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has put him as United‘s CEO. Therefore, INEOS will want to make other changes in the near future. Even Erik ten Hag isn’t safe from criticism following a lackluster season as manager.

However, the club’s upper management will take their time deciding the Dutchman’s fate. Because of the club’s on-and off-field problems, Ratcliffe has declined to publicly support the Dutchman. Eventually, it was a decision that Ten Hag has said does not trouble him.

What is Erik ten Hag’s position on his United future?

Ten Hag denied rumors that his position is in jeopardy earlier this week: “So, I’m here. I’m under contract for three seasons, so I don’t care.

“I am in this process, I’m only focusing on the process, so I don’t care what’s going on around me. I have many talks with Sir Jim Radcliffe, also with Sir Dave Brailsford and others in that group, so I know where we are talking about and I have a strong belief and I feel that they believe in me.

“No [I don’t feel I am on trial], but I want to win every game. I know I’m in a process, I know what I’m doing. As I just said, I’ve had many talks, consistently we have talks, and we’re talking about the future together.”

New United director makes presence felt

Despite that, it has been stated that Ashworth secretly met with Graham Potter to discuss his potential appointment as Erik Ten Hag’s replacement. If United decide to end it with the Dutchman, it will be due to United’s terrible 2023-24 campaign.

Potter is reportedly Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first pick. The Sun reports that the English coach has already met with Ratcliffe to explore the position. In addition, Potter has since met with Ashworth as well, for additional discussions.

After being let go by Chelsea in April after just a short season in command, Potter has not been employed by any team as a manager. But he is someone Ashworth is familiar with from their time working together at Brighton.

While playing at Brighton, Ashworth was close with Potter, and the two of them were instrumental in the Seagulls’ rise up the Premier League ranks. In addition, the INEOS owner has long admired the 48-year-old and even attempted to get him as manager of Nice, another club he owns.

Rumor is that Potter is holding off on a managerial comeback until he finds the perfect fit. Despite his failed spell at Stamford Bridge, he is still highly regarded and has been mentioned as a potential future England manager.

Photo credits: IMAGO / PA Images : IMAGO / Bildbyran