Manchester United are close to confirming Dan Ashworth is clear to start work as their new sporting director.

Ashworth, 53, has been on gardening leave since February after telling Newcastle United he wanted to join the revamped set-up under Ineos at Old Trafford.

The former Football Association and Brighton technical director had been set to take Newcastle to arbitration in an effort to resolve the impasse over the move.

But it is understood talks between the clubs led to an out-of-court settlement being agreed late last week that leaves Ashworth free to take up his new role with immediate effect.

In an interview with the BBC’s Sports Editor Dan Roan in February, new Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe said it “doesn’t make sense for Dan Ashworth to be sat around doing nothing for 18 months”.

Ashworth previously worked at West Brom, the Football Association and Brighton before joining Newcastle in 2022.

He has a long-standing relationship with Ineos head of sport Sir Dave Brailsford, dating back to Ashworth’s spell at the FA.

Ashworth joins a revamped leadership group at Old Trafford after Jason Wilcox joined as technical director from Southampton, while senior former Manchester City executive, Omar Berrada, is set to join as chief executive.

The changes follow Sir Jim Ratcliffe becoming a minority owner of the club earlier this year, a move which saw his Ineos Group take charge of football operations.

A disappointing campaign last season ended with the club winning the FA Cup and following a review by the club’s board it was confirmed earlier this month that Erik ten Hag would remain as manager.

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