NEWCASTLE UNITED have announced the appointment of Paul Mitchell as their new sporting director.

Mitchell, who has previously worked in the Premier League with both Tottenham and Southampton, replaces Dan Ashworth, who left the Magpies earlier this week to take on a senior position at Manchester United.

A former player whose playing career ended in early retirement due to injury, Mitchell has established a reputation as one of the leading footballing executives in Europe over the last decade.

His non-playing career started in scouting and recruitment, initially at MK Dons and then at Southampton, where he was director of scouting and analysis.

His recruitment strategy helped the Saints secure promotion to the Premier League and successfully reestablish themselves in the top-flight, and earned him a move to Tottenham, where he was head of recruitment.

A first overseas posting quickly followed, with Mitchell handed the job of head of recruitment and club development at Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. He combined traditional scouting with data-driven analysis, before moving into a new role as technical director in Red Bull’s global football division.

In 2020, he joined French Ligue 1 club Monaco as the sporting director, devising and implementing a long-term development plan and transforming the club’s performance and profile, as well as implementing improvements at Belgian club Cercle Brugge, part of the ownership’s portfolio.

“It's with immense pride that I accept the responsibility of being Newcastle United's new sporting director,” said Mitchell. “I’ve seen the recent growth and ambition of the club. This, plus the amazing fan base, made the decision to join an easy one.


“I can’t wait to get started and help continue the organisation's growth and long-term competitiveness in all areas of elite football performance.”

Mitchell’s appointment plugs a major gap at the top of Newcastle’s executive structure, with the 42-year-old set to start work immediately as he looks to guide the Magpies through the rest of the transfer window.

Newcastle were forced to sell both Yankuba Minteh and Elliot Anderson last week in order to remain compliant with the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability regulations, but attention will now switch to the incomings that are needed to strengthen a squad that finished outside the European places next season.

While Lloyd Kelly has arrived from Bournemouth, Newcastle are expected to sign another senior centre-half, while the purchase of a right-sided attacker is a key priority, with Anthony Elanga and Jarrod Bowen both potential targets.

“We are delighted to welcome Paul to Newcastle United,” said Magpies chief executive Darren Eales. “He brings a successful track record and wealth of experience to the club.

“His extensive and diverse experience in football leadership, cultural change and recruitment mean he is the ideal person to lead our sporting directorate

““We look forward to working with Paul and supporting him in our pursuit of long-term, sustainable success.”