Newcastle to fend off Murphy interest by entering contract talks

James Holland
Jacob Murphy Newcastle F365

Newcastle have begun contract discussions with winger Jacob Murphy, according to reports.

The 26-year-old is out of contract at the end of June, leading to interest from Portuguese giants Porto and Premier League rivals Burnley.

He made 26 league appearances during the recent campaign, achieving two goals and three assists.

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According to Sky Sports, Newcastle have insisted Murphy is not for sale and will soon put forward a new long-term deal.

The player looks set to receive a pay rise on his £25,000-a-week wage.

Murphy spent time on the bench at the start of the season but became an integral first team player from April onwards.

He scored in Newcastle’s 2-1 victory over Burnley and picked up an assist against Sheffield United, helping the Magpies on their way to a 1-0 home win.

His impressive season run-in gained praise from Steve Bruce, who hinted at a new contract in April: “I sincerely hope that we tie Jacob down. He’s played a big part in the season. I’ve been very, very pleased with him.”

Murphy’s versatility means he can play effectively in any formation Bruce chooses. He tends to be used as a right winger but can also operate as a right midfielder or right wing-back.

The player came through the ranks at Norwich City before signing for Newcastle in July 2017.

Loan spells at West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday followed as he looked to make a name for himself.

He returned to St James’ Park last summer and went on to impress fans with some great performances in the top flight.

Tying Murphy down to fresh terms would get Newcastle’s summer off to a good start.

They’re looking to build on their 12th-place finish last season and need to bring in players as a result.

Joe Willock is their top transfer target. The Arsenal loanee became a hit in the north east by scoring in seven consecutive appearances.

His goals were often match-winners, too. He headed past West Ham in the 82nd minute on April 17 to give Newcastle all three points at home.

Willock is joined by Kristoffer Ajer on Bruce’s wish list. The Celtic centre-back has already revealed his desire to leave Scotland this summer.