BBC Sport have claimed that Celtic tried to sign Josh Murphy from English Championship side Cardiff City on a loan-to-buy deal in the January transfer window – but a move was rejected by the Welsh club.
Murphy, 24, joined Cardiff in the summer of 2018 from Norwich City for a fee of £11million (BBC) when the Bluebirds were promoted to the Premier League. He was a regular last season, clocking up 30 appearances.
But this season, Murphy has been afforded just 20 outings – starting only 10 of his 17 Championship games. Under new manager Neil Harris, England youth international Murphy has only started two of Cardiff’s 14 matches.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon seemingly noticed Murphy’s lack of game time and tried to bring him to the Scottish Premiership but a move fell through. Cardiff manager Harris commented on the wide man’s future.
“He divides opinion. That is ultimately what he is as a wide player,” Harris said. “When he’s hot, he’s unplayable. When he’s not and when it doesn’t quite come off, you can question how much he’s done on the pitch. But that is the sort of player he is.”
TBR’s view – Should Celtic consider summer move for Murphy?
That could depend on the future of Mo Elyounoussi. The Norwegian has been in stunning form for Celtic since joining the club on loan from Southampton, but he has spent the last two months on the sidelines with a foot injury.
In his 13 games for Celtic, he has scored seven goals and created six. If he can continue that form – and Southampton are willing to let him go for an affordable price – then Murphy will not be needed. Failure to sign Elyounoussi permanently, and Murphy could be targeted again.