Newcastle United are reportedly set to sign Galway United defender Alex Murphy, beating off competition from the likes of Celtic, Brighton and Torino for the 17-year-old.

According to a report by RTE, Newcastle United are said to have struck a deal to sign highly-rated Galway United’s Irish teenager Alex Murphy. The youngster will switch to the North East of England in the summer when he turns 18 years of age.

The Magpies have seen off significant competition from the likes of Scottish giants Celtic, Premier League rivals Brighton & Hove Albion and Serie A outfit Torino to clinch Murphy’s signature.

Newcastle’s interest in the youngster was originally disclosed back in February, when the Irish Examiner revealed that the newly-minted Magpies had made an initial bid of €100,000 upfront for the wonderkid, with potential add-ons if he progresses into the first-team picture at St. James’ Park.

Now, RTE state that the 17-year-old will complete a move to Newcastle when he turns 18 this summer owing to the post-Brexit rules, with the Irish defensive prodif expected to slot straight into Newcastle’s Academy setup. But the update has not quoted a figure that has been agreed upon between the two clubs.

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The 17-year-old, who can operate as both a marauding left-back and a ball-playing centre-back, joined Galway United in 2019 as an Under-15 player and progressed through the ranks to the Under-17 and Under-19 sides before signing his first professional contract in January.

Despite his formative years, the teenager has made 17 senior appearances in the Irish second-tier already, 16 of which have been starts. The left-footed centre-back has been a regular at the underage level for Ireland and was also on standby for the Irish Under-21 squad in October. Murphy has been garnering interest from scouts from right across Europe in the last few months.

Newcastle United are expected to spend millions of pounds in the coming months on first-team ready players, amid high-profile links with Darwin Nunez, Victor Osimhen, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Dean Henderson, Sven Botman, and others. Yet, it appears like their first signing of the upcoming summer transfer window could be a 17-year-old Irish defender, Murphy.

Since Eddie Howe’s arrival as manager, more and more youngsters have been given the chance to train with the first team, while co-owner Amanda Staveley has already laid out plans to restructure Newcastle’s production line and strengthen training facilities, which are equally vital if they are to compete with the elite clubs in the Premier League consistently, as well as be sustainable in the long run.

While nothing is official just yet, Newcastle are closing in on Murphy and more such deals could follow as the club’s new owners look to improve the quality of the academy, which has fed several talents into the senior squad in recent seasons.

Also Read: Three players Newcastle United should pursue in the summer

As mentioned above, the prodigiously talented defender is scheduled to join the Newcastle academy in the summer, and should he showcase his talent and potential to the fullest, the 17-year-old will be integrated into the senior setup sooner rather than later. Until then, Murphy can acquire vital first-team experience with Galway, who are vying for promotion from the League of Ireland First Division.

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