Xisco Munoz’s Watford have been dealt a huge blow to their hopes of landing Jacob Murphy this summer.
That’s according to a report by Chronicle Live, who claimed that Newcastle United are set to trigger a one-year extension to the 26-year-old’s current contract, which will see him remain at St James’ Park until at least the summer of 2022.
Murphy has featured 23 times for Steve Bruce’s side in the Premier League this season, with the former England under-21 international scoring two goals, registering two assists and creating five big chances, culminating in an average SofaScore match rating of 6.71 – ranking him as the club’s 17th-best performer in the top flight.
However, despite this rather lowly average match rating, Murphy’s form has dramatically improved for the Magpies in recent weeks, with the former Norwich City ace earning a rating of 8.2 in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, a 7.2 rating in the 2-1 win over Burnley and a 7.4 rating in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
With Watford preparing for their return to the Premier League this summer, Giaretta appeared to be eyeing the 26-year-old in order to provide Xisco with greater depth in his squad in a bid to ensure the Hornets’ top-flight survival next season.
However, with Newcastle now seeming intent on keeping hold of Murphy beyond the summer, it appears as if the sporting director will now have to turn his attention away from the winger, something which is likely to leave the Italian frustrated after targeting the £25,000-per-week earner – whom Rafael Benitez dubbed a “talented” player – for a considerable amount of time.