Aviva Premiership
Saracens close in on Ashton
ESPNscrum Staff
January 13, 2012
Northampton's Chris Ashton looks for an opening, Ospreys v Northampton Saints, Anglo-Welsh Cup, Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales, October 22, 2011
Saints winger Chris Ashton could be seen in Saracens' colours as of next season © Getty Images

Saracens' technical director Brendan Venter has revealed that the Aviva Premiership club expect to make an announcement regarding the signing of Northampton winger Chris Ashton "in the next couple of weeks".

The 24-year-old England international, included in Stuart Lancaster's 32-man squad earlier this week, has long been linked with an exit from Franklin's Gardens with Venter's comments suggesting a deal is all but done.

Speaking from Sarries' temporary Cape Town training base where they were preparing for Sunday's Heineken Cup showdown with Pool 5 rivals Biarritz, Venter confirmed to EWN Sport that discussions with Ashton were on-going and hinted that they may be nearing a conclusion.

"I think the nice thing with Chris is that he is a very talented individual that any team would love to have," said Venter. "I think there is a process and a discussion with him and there will probably be an announcement in the next couple of weeks."

Venter has also denied that the team's re-location to South Africa - where they had hoped to tackle Biarritz before cancelling those plans due to a dispute of what stadium would be used - would be detrimental to their euro campaign.

"It's lovely travelling to South Africa and the people are unbelievably friendly," he stressed. "Everyone has had a good time but one thing this team prides itself on is switching on and off for the big games. I think we will play well."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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