For the first time in a long saga, Chris Ashton has hinted he is considering a move the Saracens. The Saints and England star has been linked with a move to London for many months and it has seemed inevitable to most in the game for some time. The glamour of Saracens and of life in London seems to appeal too much to the winger and the move; he now admits is a real possibility.
He has made it clear that he has no problems with the Saints they are after all he says “the club that brought [him] into Rugby Union and [he] owes the club a lot.” Northampton, as a club, as a team and as a group of friends and players clearly means a lot to him and he seems reluctant to throw that away, whilst still appreciating the best move for his development may be to move to Saracens.
Saints coach, Jim Mallinder is understood to be keen to know where he lies with Ashton, wanting to know whether he needs to find a replacement. This is only intensified by the opening of the transfer period on January 1st. Fan blogs and twitter have been rife with tips telling punters to back him to move away from Saints – and a bet on Rugby Union exchanges could get you as much as 1.5.
Ashton though, will not be rushed. His respect for both Northampton and Saracens seems to be playing a significant role in his decision and it will be interesting to see how long it takes for him to draw his conclusions.
It would appear obvious that he will move to Saracens but the delay will start to sow some seeds of doubt amongst some within the game and at both clubs. Surely if it was as simple a decision as it seems he would have already put pen to paper on the contract. Northampton, it appears then still stand a chance of keeping their man. We will all know in good time.
At the same time, Chris Ashton has been one of our best Six Nations Betting Tips – back him to outscore any other player, and recover from a disappointing World Cup.