Express & Star

Matt Maher: Former West Brom man Dan Ashworth could be the man to fix Man United

Luring Dan Ashworth away from Newcastle would undoubtedly be a major coup for Manchester United.

Head-hunted: Dan Ashworth

For their Premier League rivals, it could be very bad news indeed. The Magpies would be most obviously impacted should they lose a director of football they themselves poached from Brighton just two years ago.

Yet it would also be noted by other contenders in the top-flight’s top half, both those already part of the elite and those aspiring to be so, who for much of the past decade have been able to depend on United being distinctly average.

Much of the reason comes down to recruitment, the majority of which has been wildly inconsistent. A report compiled by Uefa this week ranked the current United squad as the most expensive ever assembled, at a cost of £1.21billion.