Newcastle announces Ashworth as sporting director

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The Magpies have acquired the ex-Football Association director in the latest major move by Eddie Howe's side as they seek to shape a bright future following last year's takeover.

Ashworth, who joined Brighton in 2018, resigned in February but was still under contract with the Seagulls as he began an extended period of gardening leave.

He has now been released to take up the position at St James' Park after dialogue between the two clubs.

"Newcastle United are delighted to announce that Dan Ashworth will become the club's sporting director after an agreement was reached with Brighton & Hove Albion to release him from his current contractual obligations with immediate effect," the club confirmed in a statement.

"The terms of this agreement will remain confidential between the clubs and are subject to Premier League approval.

"Newcastle United will issue further information following the relevant approval process."

Ashworth previously worked as the FA's director of elite development, having been appointed to the role in 2012, before joining Brighton four years ago.

During his time at the Amex Stadium, he has overseen gradual growth at the club, culminating in this season's best-ever Premier League finish of ninth under Graham Potter.

Newcastle had been strongly linked with Ashworth since late last year, when it was rumoured to have been given permission to discuss terms with him.

Meanwhile, Brighton has confirmed former Rangers and Everton defender David Weir as Ashworth's replacement, with the ex-Scotland international having held the position on an interim basis since February.