Eddie Howe comments on Dan Ashworth Newcastle exit rumours as Callum Wilson undergoes surgery

  • Eddie Howe comments on speculation linking Dan Ashworth with Manchester United

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has admitted he would like Dan Ashworth's future to be resolved quickly amid links to Manchester United.

It has been widely reported that the Red Devils want the Magpies sporting director to take up a similar role at Old Trafford.

Ahead of his side's clash with former club Bournemouth, Howe said there was yet to be any official contact between the two clubs but he would like the speculation to end and admitted there was no smoke without fire.

Asked if he wanted a quick resolution, he said: “Yes, but it’s not about what I want, is it?

“I don’t know, it’s not my decision. I’m not in control of it.

Eddie Howe has admitted he has concerns about Dan Ashworth's potential departure. Credit: PA

"Obviously it’s been in the news a lot and usually with these things, that means something’s going to happen but as we speak now, we’ve had no contact from anyone.

“At some stage, there has to be a line drawn and things have to move forward.

“The club will always move forward. We’ve got some very good people in all departments doing some outstanding work that people don’t see.

“The club is hugely ambitious and that has never changed. I’ve got no doubt the club will be successful in the future.”

Howe also revealed he had spoken to Ashworth this week after the reports but he had not indicated that he would like to stay at St James' Park. The 52-year-old already has a strong relationship with Ineos head of sport Sir Dave Brailsford, with the group set to complete their purchase of a 25% stake in Manchester United next week.

Dan Ashworth joined Newcastle from Brighton in 2022. Credit: PA

Ashworth only joined Newcastle from Brighton 20 months ago after serving a period of gardening leave. He is likely to find himself in a similar position should he take up the role at Old Trafford with the length likely to be a major part of negotiations between the two clubs.

There are concerns on Tyneside that Ashworth could share information about Newcastle's long-term plans. Howe admitted that it was also something he had considered.

“I think your concerns are relevant," he said. "I don’t know quite how much I can say on that, but I share your feelings.

“It goes without saying that we’re very protective of what’s ours, whether that’s players or staff. If people do eventually move on to other clubs, there’s a process to go through before that is reality.”

Callum Wilson could miss the rest of the season through injury. Credit: PA

Meanwhile, Howe confirmed that Callum Wilson may not play again this season after undergoing surgery for a chest injury.

"It’s a really strange injury, a tussle right at the end of the game," he said. "Initially we thought it was his shoulder, but it is his pectoral muscle.

"He went to see a specialist and he is having it operated on as we speak. It is a big blow and I really feel for him. We hope he will be back before the end of the season."

Howe will also be without Alexander Isak and Joe Willock against Bournemouth with the pair still yet to return to match fitness while Matt Targett, Elliott Anderson, Joelinton and Nick Pope also remain sidelined.

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