Rafa Benitez responds to questions about Daryl Murphy's Newcastle move

Daryl Murphy

Daryl Murphy

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Rafa Benitez says Daryl Murphy will strengthen his striking options at Newcastle United.

The Ipswich Town striker is poised to join the Championship club.

A fee has been agreed between the two clubs and Murphy is expected to sign for Newcastle well before Wednesday night's transfer deadline.

United manager Benitez was asked about Murphy – who had a five-year spell at Sunderland earlier in his career – after tonight's 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at St James's Park.

The result lifted the club up to fourth place in the table.

Asked about Newcastle's move for the 33-year-old Republic of Ireland international, Benitez said: "I have no idea.

"I was concentrating on the game. I need to talk to (United managing director) Lee Charnley.

"I don't know. I knew maybe he was coming, but it depends on the business. I just concentrate on the football."

Asked what Murphy would bring to the club, Benitez added: "Competition up front.

"We have good strikers, so to have another one with good experience will give us competition if everything is fine."

Meanwhile, Palermo defender Achraf Lazaar was at St James's Park to watch the Brighton game, which was decided by goals from Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey.

The 24-year-old is set to complete a £3million move to Newcastle.

Asked about United's move for Lazaar, Benitez said: "It's the same situation."