- Man United legend Gary Neville hailed Ashworth's influence at Newcastle
- Howe is an obvious candidate to replace Gareth Southgate after Euro 2024
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport's podcast 'It's All Kicking Off!'
Howe is the obvious candidate to replace Gareth Southgate after Euro 2024, although it has long been known he would have no interest, at least for now.
Gary Neville, meanwhile, has praised the influence of Ashworth at St James’ Park and lamented the fact Manchester United do not have a sporting director like him.
‘On my way up to the gantry (last Wednesday) I bumped into Dan Ashworth. He has built a strong foundation for the new owners at Newcastle,’ said Neville.
‘He’s competent, highly qualified and knows what he’s doing. He will work with his coach, recruitment team and other departments coherently and calmly.’
Dan Ashworth (left) insists he and Eddie Howe (right) are committed to the Newcastle project
Gary Neville lamented Manchester United for not having a sporting director like Ashworth
But Ashworth, while thanking Neville for his words following Newcastle’s 3-0 win over Man United last week, has played down talk of him being lured to Old Trafford.
‘First of all, I literally saw Gary when walking into the directors' box and he was going down the tunnel. I shouted “hello” and that was it,’ said Ashworth. ‘I didn't have a conversation with Gary. I know him and Phil (Neville) from their England days. He's written some very kind things and thank you Gary.
‘But it’s the same situation as Eddie, I think. I'm really happy, it's a brilliant city, club and project. I'm thoroughly engaged in throwing myself into all of those things and really enjoying the challenge.’
Does Ashworth have a release clause in his contract?
‘No! Not that I'm aware of anyway,’ he said.
Of Howe and England, Ashworth added: ‘It's being speculated what may and may not happen and what jobs may and may not be available. I'm sure if Gareth wins the Euros in the summer it won't be available!
‘All I can say is, Eddie has got a brilliant relationship across the club with staff, board and supporters - he's doing a wonderful job and in a really good place, and long may it continue.'
Howe meanwhile is an obvious candidate to replace Gareth Southgate after Euro 2024
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