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“It’s a bit silly” – Manchester United’s Jim Ratcliffe points towards Manchester City talks during Dan Ashworth chat



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Manchester United minority owner Jim Ratcliffe has pointed to discussions with Manchester City in recent months when discussing the issue of Dan Ashworth.

The Old Trafford club made an official approach to Newcastle for their sporting director Dan Ashworth earlier this week, having made the former Brighton & Hove Albion man a key target as Ineos Group look to revolutionise the structures at Manchester United.

However, the process of bringing in Ashworth to Manchester United has been further complicated and perhaps drawn out by confirmation from St James’ Park stating that their man had been placed on gardening leave after requesting his release.

Speaking during a conversation relayed by MailSport’s Mike Keegan, Ratcliffe appeared to be grateful to Manchester City and the process undertaken between United and Etihad Stadium bosses over Omar Berrada.

The former Chief Football Operations Officer within the City Football Group and key figure at Manchester City will become the new CEO at Manchester United, as confirmed by the two clubs last month.

“I think it’s a bit silly, personally,” Ratcliffe said of Manchester United’s attempts to secure Dan Ashworth from Newcastle United. “I won’t get dragged into that.”

“What I do think is completely absurd is suggesting a man who is really good at his job sits in his garden for one and a half years,” Ratcliffe continued, before turning his attentions towards the process involving Manchester City in the last few months.

“We had a very grown up conversation with (Manchester) City about Omar Berrada. When things got done we sorted it out very amicably. They could see why he wanted to take that challenge.”

Ratcliffe continued, “You look at Pep (Guardiola) when he’s done with one of his footballers he doesn’t want them to sit in the garden for one and a half years. He doesn’t do that. That’s not the way the UK works or the law works.”

The issue of a sporting director and their importance to an organisation could not be more heavily highlighted than Manchester City’s success with Txiki Begiristain, who has constructed several Premier League title-winning squads alongside Pep Guardiola and his colleagues.

The footballing vision shared between Guardiola and Begiristain works hand in hand, essentially enabling the latter to identify and purchase players that he knows will suit the head coach’s requirements.