May 22, 2024

According to Alvise Cagnazzo of The Mail, Paolo Maldini is one of the leading candidates to become Newcastle United’s next sporting director.

He claims that the Italian icon “would jump at the chance to replace Dan Ashworth” and is currently barely ahead of Paul Mitchell in the race to take over on Tyneside.

Maldini left his post at AC Milan, the club he captained for many years, last summer and is believed to be looking for an ambitious project in Europe after turning down a number of offers from Saudi Arabia.

Newcastle United are preparing for life without Ashworth

Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave as the Magpies and Manchester United continue to work out a complicated agreement that might see him go to Old Trafford this summer.

The 53-year-old’s contract expires in 2026, and Man United are negotiating a compensation package with Newcastle United, who have sought double the £10 million being offered.

Maldini has emerged as one of the best in the business after his impressive work with AC Milan.

He was praised at Milan for his ability to attract exciting young talents, and, according to Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, the 55-year-old is regarded by many as a ‘silent and competent voice of authority’.

The Italian great was a significant driving force behind Milan’s young side winning the Scudetto in 2022 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals last season.

Newcastle United have a five-man shortlist

The legendary defender has been out of work since June of last year, according to allegations of a disagreement with club owners about the team’s direction.

Despite the club’s troubles this season, the new sporting director is anticipated to work with manager Eddie Howe, who is still highly regarded by the club’s leadership.

There are other names who are linked with the Newcastle United job. Former Newcastle ace Hugo Viana, Benfica’s Rui Pedro and ex-Roma chief Tiago Pinto and Paul Mitchell, who was successful with Southampton and Tottenham, complete the list of possible options for Newcastle.

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