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Erik ten Hag accepts he will miss key man, says Ratcliffe must replace him

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted that he will miss the presence of John Murtough, who recently stepped down from the football director position.

Murtough spent almost 11 years at United in various roles. In the last three years, the 53-year-old took responsibility in securing several transfer deals for the club.

Speaking in today’s press conference, Ten Hag acknowledged that he will miss Murtough’s support and wished him best for the future.

The manager also said that it is very important that the new ownership replaces him ahead of the new season. Talks are currently ongoing for Dan Ashworth.

He told “I think you mentioned something big there [about the structure], in the new season, it is very important that the new ownership is working on this.”

“They have to replace his function, to go into the new season. For the moment, I now miss his support and the surrounding board, you miss that.

“But he moved on and has made his choice. We worked very well together and I must say thank you to John and I wish him all the best for the future.”

United have a busy summer transfer window ahead of them and they need a director of football in place as soon as possible.

Ashworth has been earmarked as the prime target after he stepped down from the sporting director role at Newcastle United.

However, a deal seems far from straightforward with the Magpies eyeing a hefty compensation to part ways with Ashworth.

The 53-year-old has been placed on gardening leave and Newcastle want around £15 million to release him from his deal.

Ashworth won’t be allowed to accept a new position until 2026 if an agreement is not reached.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has opened talks with Magpies co-owner Amanda Staveley and hopes to reach some middle ground.

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