Nottingham Forest have been dealt a blow in their reported pursuit for Jacob Murphy, with the winger seemingly in line to stay at Newcastle United.
Murphy, who was given his debut in professional football by Forest boss Chris Hughton, is out of contract at St James’ Park in the summer.
However, he has started the last two games out of the blue and has repaid the faith shown in him by Steve Bruce with a crucial goal in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Burnley at the weekend.
It was just his second league goal of the season and tellingly, Murphy kissed the Newcastle badge in celebration, as if to make a point about where he wants to be.
There are still a lot of variables in relation to Murphy’s future – Bruce’s future or whether the club are sold and a new manager is brought in – but it seems that the plan is to offer Murphy a new deal.
Murphy signed for the Magpies in 2017 for a £12m fee on a four-year deal, which has been allowed to run through until now.
Another possible variable is that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley doesn’t want to put any money into the club until it’s sold, which could mean Murphy leaves, but everything suggests he’ll be staying.
As such, it may be wise for the Reds to turn their attention to other potential wide options as they gear up for a more promising season next year.
Forest manager Hughton has suggested that he only wants to make slight changes to the playing squad in terms of additions.
This could mean an influx of academy graduates become involved with the senior side, with Tyrese Fornah, Jordan Gabriel and especially Brennan Johnson shining in their loan spells.
However, it has been mooted that a winger was on Hughton’s list, so it’ll be interesting to see what Forest do this post-season.
How much of a blow would it be for Nottingham Forest if they cannot sign Jacob Murphy?