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Newcastle boss Eddie Howe wants Dan Ashworth’s future to be resolved quickly amid Manchester United’s pursuit of the club’s sporting director.

The PA news agency understands the Red Devils want the 52-year-old to head up an overhaul at Old Trafford and while Magpies head coach Howe says there has been no formal contact, he admits there is no smoke without fire.

Asked if he wanted a quick resolution, he said: “Yes, but it’s not about what I want, is it?

“I don’t know, it’s not my decision. I’m not in control of it.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe wants Dan Ashworth's situation to be resolved swiftly
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe wants Dan Ashworth’s situation to be resolved swiftly (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Howe revealed he had spoken to Ashworth amid a frenzy of speculation this week, and asked if the former Football Association technical director had indicated he wanted to remain on Tyneside, he admitted: “No.”

Asked what was happening with Ashworth, he added: “Nothing, as far as I’m aware. Obviously it’s been in the news a lot and usually with these things, that means something’s going to happen.

“But as we speak now, we’ve had no contact from anyone.”

Ashworth, who joined Newcastle from Brighton 20 months ago after serving a period of gardening leave, is likely to find himself in a similar position as the two clubs prepare to enter negotiations.

Howe is convinced the project he was brought in to oversee at St James’ Park will remain on track whatever happens.

He said: “Football always moves on very quickly, and I’d say that regarding the manager’s position. Newcastle is a huge football club, it will continue to work in a very efficient way regardless of who is here.

“We’ve got some very, very capable people here in all departments, so we would carry on very smoothly.”

Meanwhile, Howe confirmed that striker Callum Wilson was due to undergo surgery to repair a pectoral muscle injury on Friday and is likely to miss much of the remainder of the season.