Nottingham Forest have a new potential hurdle in their path if they are to sign Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy, after he shone for the Magpies this weekend.
Murphy was a surprise inclusion on the team sheet in Newcastle’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, but the former Norwich City man put in a great shift, acquiring a 7.12 rating as per WhoScored.
It was Murphy’s first start since January and with a performance like that, Steve Bruce may utilise his services more as they bid to avoid Premier League relegation.
Murphy, who signed for Newcastle for £12m, sees his contract expire at the end of the season and some were expecting him to depart St James Park on a free, but that may now not be the case.
Back in the summer, Forest were keen admirers of Murphy and were strongly linked with a move, however Bruce made the decision to not let him out on loan.
He has since endured an indifferent season, playing 18 games – nine of which were starts – while scoring once and assisting twice.
In recent weeks, he has been coming off the bench fairly regularly and helped Newcastle secure a valuable 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, claiming an assist.
Whether that form alone is enough to earn him a contract at Newcastle remains to be seen, although there are many notable factors.
The first is whether Newcastle survive in the Premier League this season, as they will surely retain Murphy should they be relegated given he would be a valuable asset in the Championship.
The second is whether Bruce remains Newcastle manager, as a new man will have to make his own mind up about Murphy’s future.
Interestingly, Forest boss Chris Hughton gave Murphy his debut in professional football when the pair were both at Norwich City, with the 26-year-old replacing his brother in a 1-1 draw with Fulham in the FA Cup.
Whether Hughton chooses to sanction Forest going back in so he can re-unite with Murphy remains to be seen, but his contract situation has just taken yet another twist.
Would you sign Jacob Murphy for Nottingham Forest?