Championship side Middlesbrough are in the hunt for Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy as the Magpies look to send him out on loan, according to the Northern Echo.
The regional newspaper reports on their website that Tony Pulis’ side have lined up a deal to sign the 5ft 8in [Transfermarkt] flyer, but they face competition from league rivals West Brom, who are also interested in the player.
The report adds that a potential deal for the £12million man could go down to the wire ahead of deadline day on Thursday [31/1], with Magpies boss Rafa Benitez possibly greenlighting Murphy’s exit if the club find a suitable replacement.
Murphy looks like he is a prime target for clubs in the Championship, and the race for his signature will no doubt hot up between Boro and the Baggies. Boro have a long-standing interest in Murphy, but the fact that they have already lined up a deal for him is not going to stop West Brom. This means that the 23-year-old will have to make his mind up about where he will move to before the deadline tomorrow, but that could depend on whether Newcastle bring in a replacement. He will not leave if they fail to achieve that aim, which means that Murphy will likely be condemned to the fringes until the summer. It may be a step down for him, but moving to the likes of Middlesbrough is the best thing he can do at this stage of his career. He needs regular minutes, and moving to the Championship will hopefully help him achieve that.