Newcastle eye 777 sporting director Johannes Spors as potential Dan Ashworth replacement

Johannes Spors - Newcastle eyeing 777 sporting director Johannes Spors as potential replacement for Dan Ashworth

Johannes Spors, the global sporting director of 777 Group, is among the names Newcastle United have considered in their search for Dan Ashworth’s successor.

With Ashworth on gardening leave ahead of a move to Manchester United, Dougie Freedman has been a frontrunner to replace him at St James’ Park although there have been others under consideration with the process described as “comprehensive” by club sources.

Spors, 41, has worked at head of recruitment for RB Leipzig previously and is now working for 777, whose controversial attempted takeover of Everton is still awaiting Premier League approval and who own Genoa, Standard Liège, Hertha Berlin, Red Star in Paris and Vasco da Gama.

In an interview with Telegraph Sport in December, Spors discussed his career which started as an analyst at Hoffenheim with Ralf Rangnick before moving with him to Leipzig when the German club were in the second division.

His first appointment as a sporting director was at Vitesse Arnhem in Holland before moving to Genoa where he linked up with 777.

Newcastle have recently started interviewing as they look for Ashworth’s success, with the former Football Association head of elite development edging closer to joining United to work for new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ashworth helped Newcastle reach the Champions League this season while working within the limits of profit-and-sustainability regulations under the club’s wealthy Saudi owners. Eddie Howe’s team can still finish in the European places this season and are currently in sixth place in the Premier League.

Freedman’s work at Palace has put him in the frame for the job, with his signings flourishing under Oliver Glasner and defeating Manchester United 4-0 this week.  The 49-year-old, a former player at Selhurst Park, returned as sporting director in 2017 and his signings included Michael Olise from Reading and Marc Guehi from Chelsea, who has broken into the England squad.

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