Could Paolo Maldini be the right man for Newcastle? The former AC Milan sporting director has excelled in the transfer market, is well regarded by his peers... and would jump at the chance to replace Dan Ashworth


Newcastle are looking for a new sporting director, with Dan Ashworth expected to join Manchester United, and, among the rich list of potential candidates, there is former AC Milan captain and coach Paolo Maldini.

The former defender is currently without a contract, has rejected several offers from Saudi Arabia and has made it known that he is ready to start a new adventure in an important European club. 

Newcastle could be the perfect solution because it would allow Maldini to join the Premier League and join a side with no financial problems.

Maldini has proved he has the ability to attract top players to a club and now has aspirations of bringing triumph to a top club like the English one.

Paolo Maldini has emerged as a potential replacement for Dan Ashworth as Newcastle's sporting director

Paolo Maldini has emerged as a potential replacement for Dan Ashworth as Newcastle’s sporting director

Man United want to bring in Ashworth but need to agree a compensation fee with Newcastle

Man United want to bring in Ashworth but need to agree a compensation fee with Newcastle

The 55-year-old, who would be reunited with Sandro Tonali at Newcastle, is a profile appreciated above all because he has already demonstrated his ability to identify talented young players.

After quitting football, the Rossoneri legend waited nine years before accepting Elliott’s proposal as director of strategic development of the sports area, after having refused to join Ancelotti’s staff at Chelsea in 2009, but also subsequently a managerial role in Yong Hong Li’s Milan. 

For Maldini, fired by Milan in June 2023 due to disagreements with the club’s new owners, Newcastle represents a great professional venture.

Maldini maintains a captain’s authority 

Maldini talks to everyone. He has great intuition in defence, can motivate struggling players and places himself on the same level as the top players. 

When he entered the AC Milan locker room everyone stood up. Zlatan Ibrahimovic revered Maldini and believed he was the club’s true secret force. 

When matches went badly, Maldini went down to the changing rooms of the San Siro and the windows of the crowded room shook even if he didn’t speak. 

He’s proved to be astute in the transfer market with signings such as Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori and France goalkeeper Mike Maignan  

A motivator and talent accelerator, Maldini made several drastic decisions without ever losing control of the Rossoneri team.

As well as proving useful in the board room, Maldini can bring a presence to the dressing room

As well as proving useful in the board room, Maldini can bring a presence to the dressing room

Signings such as Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea have been a testament to Maldini's eye for talent

Signings such as Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea have been a testament to Maldini’s eye for talent

MAGPIES’ OPTIONS 

Currently, Newcastle’s transfer man Ashworth has been placed on gardening leave for personal reasons while the Magpies and Manchester United, interested in Ashworth as a future sporting director, continue to negotiate a deal. 

His contract expires in 2026 and Newcastle want £20million pounds, compared to the £10million offered by Red Devils.

However, the former AC Milan and Italian national team captain is not the only coach in contention among those that the English club has targeted. 

Former Monaco director Paul Mitchell

Ex-Roma chief Tiago Pinto

Paul Mitchell (left) and Tiago Pinto (right) are among potential candidates to take on the role

Among the others there is also Hugo Viana, sporting director of Sporting Lisbon and former Newcastle footballer. 

The Magpies’ first choice is Maldini and immediately after is Paul Mitchell, formerly of Southampton and now at Tottenham, although the names of Benfica’s Rui Pedro and former Roma sporting director Tiago Pinto also appear in the list. 

However, Maldini has a charisma that none of the other suitors possess, the role of sporting director of Newcastle seems perfect for him.



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