Man Utd transfer worries raised internally as club chiefs plot Sancho talks

Jadon Sancho has finished his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United’s plans for the summer transfer window are reportedly being hindered by Newcastle’s reluctance to release Dan Ashworth. The 53-year-old has been on gardening leave at the north-east club since February, after informing them he intended to move to United after being offered the role of sporting director by Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

However, Newcastle are demanding £20million in compensation before officially granting him his release.

Ashworth’s contract at St James’ Park doesn’t run out until June 2026, meaning he could essentially be left in limbo for up to two years if both parties can’t reach an agreement.

According to ESPN, United bosses have accepted their planned recruitment process will not be at ‘full speed’ until Ashworth comes on board. And the FA Cup winners are now preparing to wait until after the transfer window closes before they secure the services of the former FA director of elite development.

It’s a notion that will impact Ratcliffe’s plans for an overhaul of the first team squad this summer. Ashworth was expected to help oversee transfer activity, with the club linked with a host of new players, and also expected to offload a number of stars perceived to have underperformed in the 2023/24 season.

Technical director Jason Wilcox and director of football negotiations Matt Hargreaves are instead set to take responsibility for transfers when the window opens on June 14. And one of the pair’s first big decisions will centre around Jadon Sancho, who has now finished his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.

Dan Ashworth is still on gardening leave at Newcastle. (Image: Getty)

Sancho, 24, has not played for United or even trained with the first team squad following his explosive fallout with manager Erik ten Hag in September. The future of the Dutchman is also the subject of speculation, with Ratcliffe yet to publicly confirm whether he will be in place for the final year of his contract.

But it’s Wilcox and Hargreaves who will now reportedly hold talks with the ex-England winger. Both Sancho and Dortmund are said to be keen to make his second spell at the German club a permanent one, but his weekly wages could prove a stumbling block.

On Monday, Sancho, whose United deal runs until 2026, took to social media to post an emotional farewell message to Dortmund, albeit a provisional one. It followed him playing in the club’s 2-0 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday at Wembley.

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“I want to thank everyone involved at such an amazing club,” he wrote on X. “I can’t thank you enough for welcoming me back the way you all have during these last 6 months.

“Thank you to Edin Terzic, Sebastian Kehl and Hans-Joachim Watzke for believing in me and bringing me back. Finally a special thank you to the BVB fans. Your support is amazing and I’m forever thankful for you all.”