Crystal Palace: Dougie Freedman on two-man shortlist to become Newcastle sporting director

Target: Dougie Freedman (Getty Images)
Target: Dougie Freedman (Getty Images)

Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman is on a final two-man shortlist to become Newcastle’s new sporting director.

Freedman is battling with Johannes Spors to succeed Manchester United-bound Dan Ashworth at St James's Park.

The Palace sporting director has impressed with his track record in the transfer market at Selhurst Park, where he has unearthed talented players including Eberechi Eze, Michael Olise and Adam Wharton.

Spors is global sporting director of 777 Group, whose controversial attempted takeover of Everton is still awaiting Premier League approval.

Freedman is said to be keen on the Newcastle job and losing the Scot would be a blow to Palace, who face an important summer as they bid to build on the encouraging start of the Oliver Glasner era.

Freedman is a former player and manager at Palace and returned to the club as sporting director in 2017.

He also signed Marc Guehi and his recruitment record has attracted Newcastle, who are keen to appoint a new sporting director in the coming weeks ahead of the summer window.

Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes is attracting interest from Arsenal and Manchester City and a midfield replacement could be required if his asking price is met.

Toon boss Eddie Howe is also targeting Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo and Bournemouth's Lloyd Kelly to strengthen his defence on free transfers, plus a new winger.

Former Scotland international Freedman is understood to have a home in the north of England, having had spells at Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Wolves as a player.

Sporting director of football Hugo Viana is also being tipped as an outside option for the Newcastle job, but it looks like a straight shootout between Freedman and Spors.

Newcastle’s Saudi owners have ambitious plans for the club and are targeting someone to improve their recruitment.