Newcastle United hold ‘productive’ talks with Johannes Spors…

Newcastle United hold ‘productive’ talks with Johannes Spors 

Before the transfer window reopens next month, Newcastle United and Johannes Spors are hoping to work out

a resolution to their sports director dispute. The two have had “productive” conversations.

Dan Ashworth, the sporting director of the Magpies at the moment, has expressed interest in joining

Manchester United and is still on gardening leave.

Newcastle United hold 'productive' talks with Johannes Spors 
Newcastle United hold ‘productive’ talks with Johannes Spors

Dougie Freedman was supposed to take Ashworth’s place at St. James’ Park, but the Scot decided to stay in his

current position as sporting director at Crystal Palace instead, even though he had extensive negotiations with

the Newcastle administration.

Freedman’s decision, which was communicated to the Tyneside leadership at the end of last week, compelled a

reconsideration and sparked interest in Spors again, whose candidacy had been taken into consideration before

Freedman was approached.

Spors, a 41-year-old German, oversees global sports for 777 Group, the consortium of clubs attempting to purchase Everton.

The 777 Group is a global owner of teams such as Vasco da Game, Hertha Berlin, Genoa, Standard Liege, and

others. They consider Spors to be a key member of their football operations team.

Spors, a former analyst under former Manchester United manager Ralk Rangnick, spent a considerable amount

of time at Hoffenheim and was closely involved in the Bundesliga team’s hiring process when they brought in

Joelinton from Brazil.

Before assuming his first technical director position in 2020 with the Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem, he managed

recruitment at RB Leipzig. Vitesse, who were closely associated with Chelsea, advanced to the Dutch Cup final

and earned a trip to Europe through league standings during Spors’ eighteen months there.

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Since Freedman’s decision to stay at Selhurst Park became public, senior Newcastle executives have held talks

with Spors. According to insiders, these negotiations were viewed as “positive.”

The Magpies’ management will now weigh their options, although they hope to appoint a new sports director by

the time the transfer window reopens in earnest the following month.

Whatever happens, their present head of scouting, Steve Nickson, will be heavily involved in this summer’s

transfer negotiations. However, chief executive Darren Eales and co-owner Amanda Staveley would both prefer

that a sporting director be involved in recruitment decisions this summer.

Once Newcastle has his replacement in place, Ashworth’s move to Manchester United is probably set in stone,

albeit the two teams have not yet agreed on a compensation package for the former FA boss.

It is now anticipated that Ashworth’s gardening leave will last until the second half of 2025.

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