Journalist Ben Jacobs has claimed that West Ham have not given up hope of keeping Newcastle United transfer target Harrison Ashby.
The 21-year-old defender was linked with a deadline-day move to Newcastle over the summer as Eddie Howe looked to bring in some depth at the right-back spot, as well as build for the future.
It had been reported that Ashby is edging closer to a move up north and pulling on the famous black and white shirt, although Jacobs believes the Hammers have not yet lost hope that they could tie him down on a long-term contract.
Jacobs claimed on the NUFC Matters YouTube channel that Newcastle could still hit a bump in the road when it comes to signing Ashby next month.
He said: “I would say West Ham are going to do everything that they possibly can to get him to sign a new deal, but Newcastle are there for sure, monitoring the situation and seeing what’s possible.
“It’s quite hard to move because if you put down an offer too early, you’re worried it’s just going to sit and be used as leverage with West Ham, and if you don’t put down an offer, he could just sign a new deal and then you’re not going to get him in the short term. So it’s about when to move in the market and we’ll have to wait and see on this one.
Would Ashby be a good signing?
“I haven’t made too many enquiries as to what might happen over the coming weeks, I’ve got to be honest, but what I am told at the West Ham end is that they plan to do everything they possibly can to try and get the player to sign again, to ensure he doesn’t leave for a nominal fee or on a free transfer in the summer – because that would be a big blow from their perspective.”
TIF Thoughts on Newcastle’s hopes of signing Ashby…
It makes a lot of sense for Newcastle to be going after Ashby as he’s clearly not getting the game time required to continue his development at West Ham, with zero league starts at the age of 21.
And given Kieran Trippier is on the wrong side of 30, Ashby could see himself as the heir to the right-back spot if we was to move.
The fact that Newcastle showed an interest over the summer and seem set to reignite it next month could show Ashby how keen they are for him to make the switch and turn his head.
Howe does have alternatives at right-back such as Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth – though the latter is injured – but Ashby is at the other end of the age scale to them and would potentially provide the Magpies with a defender for the next 10 years if he can push past Trippier quickly.