An insider’s claim about a sudden twist involving a West Ham United star is a huge blow to Newcastle United.
West Ham fans have been extremely unhappy at the very real prospect of losing swashbuckling young full-back Harrison Ashby to newly-minted Newcastle in January.
Ashby, 20, came close to joining Newcastle United on transfer deadline day in the summer, according to The Daily Mail.
Last minute links to the likes of Ola Aina emerged as speculation intensified that young academy graduate Ashby could leave West Ham for Newcastle (The Daily Mail).
The spectre of that move has not gone away with talk that Ashby will still leave for Newcastle in January as he is refusing to sign a new deal with West Ham.
Many Hammers supporters are loathe to lose Ashby, who has shown great promise during first team appearances over the last couple of seasons.
West Ham fans were understandably concerned when Ashby’s social media activity amid the transfer rumours appeared to suggest a move to Newcastle might be on the cards.
In the end the move to Newcastle did not transpire, though, and Ashby remained at West Ham, where he is said to be frustrated by his lack of first team involvement, hence his refusal to sign a new deal.
The Scotland youth international has had an injury recently but returned to the fold for West Ham’s Europa Conference League dead rubber win against FCSB in Romania.
Ashby came on in the second half and showed just why Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, who shares the same agent as the Hammers starlet, wants him at St James’ Park.
West Ham have struggled at right back with neither Vladimir Coufal or Ben Johnson performing anywhere near the required level this season. So Ashby’s frustration is somewhat understandable.
But a Hammers insider’s claim about a sudden twist involving the West Ham star is a huge blow to Newcastle.
An insider speaking to Claret and Hugh once again stated that there has been an ‘expectation that Ashby will leave once the January window opens, with Newcastle and Leeds both sniffing around’.
Kurt Zouma’s knee operation – which likely rules him out for the rest of the season – could change everything, though, scuppering Newcastle’s hopes of signing Ashby.
“The injury sustained by Kurt Zouma, for which he needed surgery, has led to the likelihood of Thilo Kehrer being moved back to centre-back,” states insiders Claret and Hugh.
“That opens a spot at right-back, and Ashby will be hopeful that David Moyes shows his faith in him by giving him the opportunity to play.
“Of course, Vlad Coufal and Ben Johnson are also options, but Ashby will be banging on the door to be given a chance at the London Stadium.”