Noel Whelan has given his reaction to some Newcastle United news that he has now heard involving Dan Ashworth.
The Lowdown: Brighton want £5m for Ashworth
As per The Daily Mail, Brighton and Hove Albion are now looking for £5m from the St James’ Park club to release Ashworth from gardening leave.
He is set to take over as the new sporting director in the northeast, but it now looks as if that will not happen until November.
There is ‘frustration’ on Tyneside that they have not been able to reach an agreement with the Seagulls, but the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consortium do not want to pay ‘inflated’ prices.
The Latest: Whelan reacts to Ashworth latest
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan – who regularly used to feature as a pundit for the BBC – has claimed that the new owners should not be worrying over the price and should just pay it to get their man.
Where will Newcastle finish in the Premier League?
7th - 10th
The former Leeds striker said: “I’m pretty sure the owners have got that in their car in change. I mean, £5million for a man that they feel is going to be beneficial to them in the long term? It’s a drop in the ocean.
“I find it very difficult they’re haggling over £5million for somebody that’s a key jigsaw piece to their puzzle.
“If that’s they who they want and need, that £5million should be paid up. There you go, get your man in and start building for the future. Start building for next season. It’s imperative.
“Business is business and they own him at the minute, do Brighton. That’s the price that they feel he’s valued at.
“That £5million, for somebody that might be massively integral to the rebuild of Newcastle United, could be the best money they’ve ever spent.”
The Verdict: Pay the money
As Whelan suggests, £5m is a miniscule amount to the new owners at Newcastle, who topped the Premier League in terms of spending in the January transfer window, with a reported £85m forked out on players that month.
Ashworth has received plenty of rave reviews for his work. The Times journalist Henry Winter has said that he will bring ‘relentless enthusiasm’, a ‘great work ethic’ and a lot of contacts to the Magpies; while Newcastle World reporter Liam Kennedy has previously lauded the pending appointment as ‘seriously good’, claiming that the Toon are starting to make ‘big moves’.
If £5m is what it takes to get Ashworth in at St James’ Park before the summer transfer window, then the Tyneside hierarchy should just pay the money.
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