Rafa Benitez has revealed the story behind Newcastle United’s capture of boyhood fan Jacob Murphy.
The winger is set to join the club from Norwich City in a £12million deal.
Murphy had a medical in Dublin yesterday after flying out to Ireland to join his new team-mates.
The 22-year-old is understood to have agreed personal terms at St James’s Park.
Benitez, however, was considering a move for his twin brother Josh, a forward at Norwich, a year ago when the club was last at Carlton House, Co Kildare, for pre-season training.
“We were here in Ireland last year and we were talking about his brother,” said United manager Benitez.
We’ll see if he can reproduce his performances of the Championship in the Premier League. He has the potential to do that.Rafa Benitez
“We liked his brother and we spoke about him.
“I was following both of them, but I think we have signed the right one, the one I wanted.
“I have received a lot of information about both, and it was positive about both of them.
“But, in this case, we wanted the type of player (Jacob is) and were happy with that.
“We will see if he can reproduce his performances of the Championship in the Premier League.
“He has the potential to do that.”
Asked if Newcastle would return for Josh, Benitez joked: “We’re happy with one of them at the moment. That’s fine.”
Murphy was sold on a move to St James’s Park as soon as he became aware of United’s interest in him this summer.
The England Under-20 international’s keenness to join the club was a plus for Benitez, who is preparing his team for the club’s return to the Premier League.
“Sometimes, when you are looking for a player, you are thinking if they are technically good enough, or if they have pace or can score goals or are good tactically,” said Benitez.
“In this case, the main thing is that we have a player who has pace and can score goals, but wants to play for Newcastle United.
“That’s a huge advantage. He will be working so hard trying to impress our fans.
“It will help the competition in the team.”
Murphy – who has had a series of loan spells in recent years – scored two goals against Newcastle in the Championship last season.