Sunderland target Daryl Murphy has been given the green light to leave North East rivals Newcastle United this summer by manager Rafa Benitez, reports The Irish Examiner.
The 34-year-old only moved to St James’ Park last summer following a long spell at Ipswich Town, in which time he scored 67 goals in 225 games to outline his status as one of the best strikers outside of the Premier League.
And he was brought in by Benitez 12 months ago to try and help his Magpies team secure an immediate return to the top-flight, and they did just that with Murphy contributing five goals in 15 Championship games to help them clinch the title ahead of Chris Hughton’s Brighton.
However, it doesn’t appear that he has much of a future at Newcastle in the Premier League, and as a result Simon Grayson’s Sunderland are reportedly considering a move for the Irishman this summer.
And Magpies chief Benitez has spoken out about Murphy’s future, suggesting that they will indeed entertain a permanent move for the 34-year-old.
He said: ‘We are talking about different things in the Premier League, and we have some clubs asking about him.
‘We have been chatting at training in recent days, and he knows that if a club comes in, he will go on a permanent transfer once the deal is best for him and us.’
These comments may well frustrate Grayson and the Sunderland hierarchy, who were reportedly seeking a shorter-term deal for the striker, yet seem highly unlikely to get their way.
Yet with Jermain Defoe having left the club, Victor Anichebe released, and Fabio Borini shipped out on loan, the Black Cats are very thin on the ground in terms of forward options, and certainly could do with someone prolific at this level like Murphy to help them in the Championship next season.
But whether they are indeed able to get a deal done for the 34-year-old this summer very much remains to be seen.
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