Insider ExWHUemployee has revealed that Newcastle United may wait until the summer to try and sign Harrison Ashby on a free.
Indeed, in December, The Guardian tipped the Magpies to make a move for the defender this winter so he could provide cover for Kieran Trippier at right-back.
However, it sounds as though Newcastle may well wait until the summer to do any deal as they could then pick him up when his contract expires without having to pay a transfer fee.
When speaking on The West Ham Way podcast, Ex explained: “I asked my top sources what’s happening with him and why he’s not signed for Newcastle. And the top source said, ‘He’s no closer to signing a contract for West Ham, we’ve tried.’
“But we don’t have to sell him. His contract is going to go in the summer so we’ve set a fee for him to be signed in January. And the club reckon that what Newcastle might do is take a chance and let his contract go in the summer and [for] it to go to compensation and hope that the compensation figure is less than what they would pay this window for him from West Ham.”
As Ashby is still under the age of 24, if he was to leave West Ham and move to Newcastle in the summer a compensation fee would have to be paid.
For instance, the Professional Football Compensation Committee (PFCC) forced Liverpool to pay Fulham a guaranteed fee of £1.5m in February 2021, plus a further £2.8m in contingent sums, when the midfielder joined the Reds as a teenager.
Of course, though, that fee may have been less than what the Cottagers would have demanded for the player in the transfer market. That clearly seems to be what Newcastle are weighing up now.
As Ex makes clear, West Ham have put a price tag on Ashby if he is to leave this January. But the Magpies may well feel as though the compensation fee will be cheaper if they take their chances and wait until the summer.
However, if they delay, they run the risk of a rival moving for the right-back as Leeds United have been linked with a possible deal in the past as well.