Republic of Ireland striker Daryl Murphy has been told that he can leave Newcastle United after just one season at the club following their return to the Premier League.
The Waterford man was signed for £3.5m last summer as the club wanted a proven Championship goalscorer to help them bounce back to the top-flight at the first time of asking, but injuries meant that he only played 14 times for Newcastle last season. Last month he revealed that he fully understood why the club were letting him go this summer.
Rafa is a top, top manager. He texted me after the Uruguay game to say well done.
I spoke to him last week about my future and he thanked me for what I had done and said they were going to listen to a few offers. I said ‘that’s fine’.
I always knew I had been brought in there to do a specific job, to help the club get promoted. I had no illusions that I was going to be starting for Newcastle in the Premier League if we got up.
Up there with the most amicable departures ever.
Murphy's attitude was surely aided by the knowledge that many clubs at the Championship level would be happy to bring him in, and sure enough three clubs have been linked with a move this week.
First up is Sunderland who, with no senior strikers in their squad thanks to a relegation clearout, look the most in need of Murphy's services. He, of course, played for the Black Cats between 2005 and 2010, making 28 appearances in the Premier League in 07/08 and then 23 in the following season.
SunderlandEcho.com believe that the club are looking to bring him back.
With Sunderland currently without a senior striker in the squad, they are well aware of Murphy's situation and would be interested in bringing him back to Wearside. A move to stay in the North East would appeal to the Irish striker, but a sticking point could be how much of the fee spent last summer Newcastle are looking to recoup.
They are not alone. The report continues to mention two other Championship clubs that want to add Murphy's experience.
Aston Villa are said to be in the mix as Steve Bruce managed the Ireland striker while in charge of Sunderland, and Nottingham Forest too are expected to make a move.
If Murphy's fitness troubles are behind him he is a guaranteed goalscorer in the league, so it's understandable that clubs wishing to ensure at least a playoff place next season would look to bring him in.
He's definitely on the way out of St.James' Park this summer, so it will be interesting to see which club is able to reach an agreement.