Reports on deadline day had revealed that the Magpies had made a move to sign the 20-year-old full-back, having been left short on the right side of the defence following the ACL injury to Sweden international Emil Krafth.
The Athletic has now revealed that the deal ‘broke down’ as the Hammers were ‘reluctant’ to part ways with the Scotland U21 international, despite the youngster having just a year left on his current deal at the London Stadium.
The report suggests that even though the Milton Keynes-born starlet is behind both Vladimir Coufal and Ben Johnson in the pecking order in east London, a hamstring injury to the latter man ensured that David Moyes was not willing to leave himself short.
That inability to get a deal over the line could well come back to bite Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, with the 44-year-old currently left with Javier Manquillo as the only alternative to Kieran Trippier at right-back.
Although an experienced asset, the 28-year-old has appeared surplus to requirements under the former Bournemouth head coach in recent times, making just 13 appearances for the northeast side since the Englishman was appointed back in November.
Those outings had seemingly only come about due to a lengthy injury absence to January arrival, Trippier, last term, with it no doubt set to be of real concern should the England international be struck down again any time soon, such is the lack of quality cover.
Although Ashby is a largely unknown quantity at senior level – having made just six first-team appearances for his current side – he has already caught the eye in his embryonic career thus far, having been dubbed “fearless” by West Ham podcaster, Sam Delaney.
His only outing thus far this term came in the Europa Conference League, first leg playoff tie against Viborg FF, with the highly-rated prospect catching the eye in that 3-1 triumph, recording three interceptions, two clearances and one tackle from his 90-minute display – with his match rating of 7.1 the fourth highest in Moyes’ starting XI on the day, as per SofaScore.
A player who could well explode in the years to come, the Tynesiders will now have to wait until January, or next summer, if they are to sign the £270k-rated sensation, albeit that could well come too late if an injury does befall the aforementioned Trippier.