Journalist Ben Jacobs has claimed that West Ham United are now prepared to sell Harrison Ashby in the January transfer window.
What’s the word?
As per Jacobs, the Hammers were desperate to keep the young defender just a matter of weeks ago with Premier League sides keen on signing him with Newcastle United already putting in a bid this winter.
Ashby has seemed to draw a lot of interest in his signature in recent times, with Leeds United also said to have been keeping an eye on the situation in the past.
And while that latest offer from the Magpies was supposedly rejected, it sounds as though West Ham are still prepared to sell and they are just holding out for the right price.
Indeed, when talking on NUFC Matters, Jacobs has claimed that the club didn’t want to let Ashby go at first but have now “completely changed their position”.
He said (28:14): “So West Ham have completely changed their position. Now, they are open to a sale, because they don’t just want to lose the 21-year-old for free.
And he’s played in the Papa John’s trophy and Premier League 2 this season. And he’s made, I think, a handful of appearances for the under-21 side as well.
“So again, you’re not saying: ‘We’ll hang on to your keep us up in the Premier League’. You’re basically saying: ‘What’s the point in keeping a player that says he won’t sign, in our Academy, in our youth setup, in our Premier League 2 squad, if come the end of the season, he’s just going to walk away for free?’
“And that is why there is very likely to be an agreement between the clubs over the coming days. here are a few others looking at him as well.”
It’s interesting that Jacobs mentions that a “few others” are keeping tabs on the situation beyond just Newcastle who have already placed a bid this January.
As mentioned earlier, Leeds were previously keen on the player and with their young right-back Cody Drameh just heading off on loan to Luton Town for the rest of the season, perhaps they’ll be in the market for a new signing in that part of the field.
Up to this point his career, at 21 years of age, Ashby has featured only seven times for West Ham at senior level but has been a regular for the academy team.
With that in mind, even if he was to leave in the summer for free and join an English club, the Hammers would be entitled to some sort of compensation fee.
However, the club must feel as though they can make more financially from a sale now instead of waiting for that to go to a tribunal. It will be interesting to see what figure they have in mind and if Newcastle or anyone else will be willing to meet in the next few days.