Newcastle transfer news: 'Shrewd operator' - Magpies on verge of making 'big signing'

Newcastle United co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi

Dan Ashworth would be a coup signing for Newcastle United if the Magpies succeed in appointing him as their new director of football, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Tynesiders have been looking to welcome a director of football to St James’ Park for a prolonged period of time and it looks as though they are edging towards securing the services of their preferred candidate.

What’s the latest news involving Ashworth?

Newcastle’s pursuit of Ashworth took a dramatic turn when he resigned from his position as Brighton & Hove Albion’s technical director earlier this week.

That has led to reports that Ashworth is expected to be appointed as the Magpies’ director of football, while it has also been claimed the 50-year-old is in advanced talks with the club’s hierarchy.

However, it is understood that Brighton are holding out for a substantial compensation package to allow Ashworth to cut short his notice period in order to head to St James’ Park.

It comes after Ashworth’s decision to quit the Seagulls has resulted in him beginning an extended period of gardening leave.

Ashworth initially held talks with Newcastle last month thanks to Brighton giving their Premier League rivals permission to interview their then-technical director.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Ashworth?

O’Rourke feels luring Ashworth to Newcastle would be a statement of intent from the club’s owners, led by the Saudi Arabia-based Public Investment Fund.

The journalist reckons the Football Association’s former director of elite development would play a key role in putting a strategy in place when it comes to future additions to head coach Eddie Howe’s squad.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “I think Dan Ashworth would be a big signing for Newcastle if he comes in from Brighton.

“He’s such a shrewd operator and done a great job at Brighton. I think he’ll sort out their transfer strategy.”

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Who did Newcastle sign in the January transfer window?

Although Newcastle did not have a director of football in place last month, that did not stop them adding five fresh faces to Howe’s options.

Kieran Trippier made the £12million switch from reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid before Chris Wood headed to St James’ Park after the Magpies activated the £25million release clause in the striker’s Burnley contract.

Newcastle succeeded in their pursuit of midfielder Bruno Guimaraes after parting with £40million to prise him away from Lyon.

Matt Targett joined on loan until the end of the season from Aston Villa before the Magpies’ January business was wrapped up with the £13million arrival of Brighton & Hove Albion’s Dan Burn.

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