Newcastle could be heading for a major transfer nightmare this summer amid reports linking Jacob Murphy with a move away.
The winger has emerged as a key part of the Magpies’ revival in recent weeks, shining in a wing-back role in the past four games and helping the side to pick up two wins and two draws.
Now, The Sun claim that both Burnley and Watford are leading the race to sign him amid his current deal at St James’ Park coming to an end next season.
The report adds that Steve Bruce’s side will open talks with the 26-year-old over a new contract and that they are keen to reward him for his recent form. However, it’s suggested the newly-promoted Watford are ready to test Newcastle’s mettle to keep hold of him by putting in a potential £6m bid in the summer.
While Murphy has hardly been a key first-team star over the course of this entire Premier League season for Newcastle, he has shown real quality as a wing-back in recent weeks.
The Times’ chief football writer Henry Winter waxed lyrical about his ability to deliver in that position a couple of weeks ago following his performance against Tottenham, saying: “Jacob Murphy outstanding for NUFC at right wing-back, ran himself into the ground, defending/attacking, got cramp, eventually subbed. His resilience echoed all over.”
Given Bruce’s own comments about Murphy earlier this year, then it would be fair to say the Newcastle boss won’t be happy at all if the Magpies cashed in on him this summer.
He said: “I won’t be letting him out on loan! Not after a performance like that. He deserves to stay with us and he has improved enormously.”
With Murphy really stepping up to the plate in recent weeks – including scoring in a priceless 2-1 win over Burnley – Newcastle’s board simply can’t let him go, especially to a team who they could be in a battle with next season. If they do, Bruce would rightly be furious.