Steve Bruce must block Jacob Murphy from leaving Newcastle United at the end of the season amid doubts about the winger’s long-term future.
According to Football Insider, Murphy is not expected to become a free agent this June as he actually has another year reaming on his current contract.
But that is not a guarantee the 26-year-old will be at St. James’ Park next season, as Magpies chiefs are yet to decide on if he will stay at the club once the transfer window opens.
Reports by Chronicle Live earlier this month also claimed that Newcastle are in active talks with Murphy over new terms, in an attempt to avoid losing the winger for no compensation.
Toon boss Steve Bruce has even remarked on Murphy’s impending status as a free agent, noting via quotes by The Shields Gazette: “I sincerely hope that we tie Jacob Murphy down.”
It seems unlikely that Murphy would be under contract at Newcastle through to 2022 rather this summer with Bruce openly discussing his desires for new terms, but the doubt over the forward’s long-term future would remain either way.
Bruce must therefore lobby the Magpies hierarchy to retain Murphy, as the £3m-rated dynamo has proven to be a crucial player at St. James’ Park this season despite rarely starting Premier League games.
Murphy has only opened 10 of his 19 top-flight appearances this term and been left on the bench (7) or omitted from the squad (5) more often than introduced as a substitute (9), but he has shown to be capable of delivering a game-changing impact.
Bruce hailed the former Norwich City forward for his dramatic equaliser and claimed “he was arguably our best player” against Wolverhampton Wanderers back in October, when Murphy fired home a late free-kick to snatch a point.
It failed to see Murphy become one of the first names on the teamsheet, yet Bruce acknowledges the “big part” he has played this season and praises the forward for ticking all he boxes as he’s “young, hungry [and] determined to do well.”
That hunger led to telling contributions from the bench when Wolves visited Tyneside in February, setting up the equaliser in stoppage-time against Aston Villa in March, running himself into the ground against Tottenham Hotspur and earning praise from Alan Shearer after scoring Newcastle’s first at Burnley last weekend.
His performances against Spurs and the Clarets this month each came at full-back while his displays against Wolves and Aston Villa showed the offensive creativity he can offer, and why Bruce must block Newcastle from letting Murphy leave this summer.