Leeds United remain in the race to sign West Ham starlet Harrison Ashby, according to a report.
The 20-year-old’s contract was set to expire at the end of June, but West Ham activated the one-year option. That leaves the right-back still in limbo though, with the club hopeful of agreeing a new long-term deal.
Ashby though has options with both Leeds and Newcastle interested in acquiring the academy graduate.
Of course Leeds have already swooped to sign talented England U18 striker Sonny Perkins from West Ham. Perkins was considered one of the Hammers’ most talented youngsters, but he decided to move on.
West Ham had initially hoped that he would remain in the capital, but Perkins decided against signing a professional deal with the club.
Instead the forward signed a three-year deal with Leeds in July and has impressed with five goals in four games in Premier League 2.
That did not go down well in east London and if Ashby follows suit it will leave an even bitter taste in the mouths of Hammers officials.
Ashby ‘liked’ by Leeds
And all the signs are that Ashby will reject a new deal from the club.
Ashby has already featured in the Conference League this season, but Claret & Hugh suggest he “may well reject a new deal”.
Discussing the transfer saga, journalist Dean Jones said Leeds were in a good position.
“They do still like him. I think, from here, it’s going to depend on how West Ham decide to deal with him,” he told Give Me Sport.
“Whether they reassess his contract situation and they can convince him of their own plans, there’s a lot to be sorted out there over the next few months.”
Ashby was linked with a loan move to Hull City in January in order to get some first-team action. The Scottish defender did feature in the EFL Cup and Europa League last season. But his Premier League game time was limited to just six minutes.
Leeds have right-back options
Vladimir Coufal and Ben Johnson are blocking Ashby’s route to the first team. And he may well decided to chance his arm elsewhere, especially if he sees Perkins handed a debut with Rodrigo injured.
His departure would be a hammer blow for David Moyes, who also saw talented striker Jeremy Ngakia, 21, leave for Watford two years ago.
Whether Ashby would have a better chance of breaking through at Elland Road is open to debate.
Jesse Marsch signed right-back Rasmus Kristensen in the summer and he started the first five games before picking up an injury. Marsch also has the experienced Luke Ayling, who can also play at centre-back.
Ayling though is working his way back to fitness after having surgery on a long-standing knee problem in May.
Cody Drameh is another option available to Marsch and he replaced Kristensen in the 5-2 defeat at Brentford.
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