By Joe Ellis

15th Apr, 2022 | 9:00am

Newcastle United: Galway defender Alex Murphy set for Magpies switch

Galway United defender Alex Murphy looks set to swap Ireland for England as he heads to Newcastle United in the summer, according to RTE Sport.

Brighton, Celtic and Torino had all been battling the Magpies for the 17-year-old’s signature but it is Newcastle who appear to have won the race.

Murphy won’t turn 18 years of age until 25 June which is the earliest he can officially move to the northeast and join up with Eddie Howe’s Toon, although time in the academy is far more likely than a senior squad birth from the off.

 

Murphy will therefore remain with Galway United until that date at least as he tries to help them to promotion during their summer season.

He has mainly been utilised by the Galway manager John Caulfield as a left-back this season having made his debut at just 16 years of age last season against Athlone Town.

Important infrastructure

This transfer won’t make many headlines around St James’ Park but it is actually a very important move from the club to help shape their future.

Those of us who have played the popular video game Football Manager will know all too well how the registration rules of the Premier League can come to bite you if you aren’t paying attention and that gets worse once you qualify for European competition.

Newcastle are still some way from being European challengers but given that it is their aspiration to be there, they have to make sure they have suitably homegrown players and Murphy could be one of those who fits the bill.

The Magpies can’t just spend millions on high-quality players from overseas as much as it would make their side better because half of them wouldn’t be able to play under the registration restrictions.

It’s a tough balancing task for Howe but with small signings like this, he is going about it in all the right ways.

In other Newcastle United news, Elliot Anderson is reportedly garnering interest from Nottingham Forest over a summer transfer.