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Leeds United and Ralph Hasenhuttl plot transfer of £6m Newcastle winger Jacob Murphy

According to The Sun, Newcastle United now face competition from Leeds and a clutch of European sides in their bid to retain Jacob Murphy this summer.

The Toon are eager to tie Murphy down to a new, long-term contract with his current terms set to expire next year, but are not yet thought to have opened talks with the forward.

It is expected that the lack of progress will put a number of suitors on alert, with Murphy said to be valued at just £6million despite delivering a string of impressive performances this season.

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Murphy’s displays at St. James’ Park have played a key role in Steve Bruce’s side enjoying a turn of fortunes to secure their Premier League status, and excelled in defeat to Manchester City last Friday in a newly-established wing-back role.

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But the 26-year-old’s efforts and contract situation has alerted a number of sides to his potential availability, with Leeds now keeping close tabs on developments after Burnley, Southampton and Rangers all declared their interest in the Watford target.

Portuguese giants FC Porto and Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen are also noted to admire Murphy, who has started 15 of his 24 Premier League appearances this season while offering two goals and two assists to date.

Burnley and Watford were previously thought to be leading the race to sign Murphy should he become available, although Bruce has expressed desires of seeing Newcastle retain their £12m signing from Norwich City (Sky Sports) in 2017.

“Moving forward, I’d love to see him at the club,” Bruce said, via quotes by The Shields Gazette, last month. “It’s what we want: young, hungry, determined to do well – he ticks all of those boxes.”

TBR’s view:

Murphy’s role in Newcastle’s turn of fortunes and securing their Premier League status was bound to draw up some interest from across the division as he nears the final year of his current £25,000-per-week (Spotrac) terms, but it remains to be seen if a deal can be agreed.

The Magpies would surely be loath to lose a player who has become so key to Bruce’s plans and has made the right-wing-back role his own, having added a real forward threat to the position and a solid defensive presence despite his natural attacking intentions.

Being a big box-ticker now said to be on the radars of Leeds, Porto and Bayer Leverkusen will also come as a blow to Southampton, Watford and Burnley as it would be expected that Murphy would favour one of those three sides were he to leave St. James’ Park given their respective campaigns.

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