The proposed Newcastle United deal which brings back memories of Seamus Coleman mistake
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The club, then managed by Joe Kinnear, didn’t follow up on the recommendation.
It would out to be Newcastle’s loss – and Everton’s gain.
The name of that player was Seamus Coleman, who joined the Goodison Park club from Sligo Rovers in a £60,000 deal. Coleman, 33, is still going strong for club and country – and has faced United twice this season.
Coleman, a right-back, has made 322 Premier League appearances for Everton – and has also won 64 Republic of Ireland caps.
Another young Irish player has come to Newcastle’s attention, and, this time, the club is hoping to quickly conclude a deal.
The Gazette understands that Newcastle hope to sign 17-year-old Alex Murphy from Galway United this summer.
Who is Alex Murphy?
Murphy, from Annaghdown, joined Galway’s academy as a 14-year-old after starting out at Corrib Celtic, and, according to the club’s website, quickly progressed through the age groups.
He made his first-team debut last summer against Athlone Town aged 16, and Galway academy coach Martin Devlin described him as an “elegant, ball-playing centre-back, who is comfortable bringing possession out of defence”.
Murphy – who can also play at left-back – signed his first professional deal last August, and manager John Caulfield said: “He’s one of our own, and we’re delighted to have him sign a professional contract, his first professional contract in what we hope will be a great career.
“We have high hopes for him, and we can see his talent. The most important thing now for Alex is to work hard and continue his progress. It’s a great day for the club – and our academy.”
Which other clubs are interested?
Murphy has been linked with Celtic, Brighton and Hove Albion and Torino as well as United.
Dublin side Shamrock Rovers were also credited with an interest in Murphy, but the Irish Independent yesterday reported that it’s “been clear since the beginning of the year that Murphy's big move would be to the UK with a host of clubs in the mix, and Newcastle have made an assertive move for his services.”
And that move looks to have paid off for Newcastle.
When will the deal get done?
The Gazette understands that the deal is not yet done, though it’s likely to be completed once Murphy turns 18 in June.
According to RTE, Galway representatives were “very pleased with how discussions have gone on Tyneside”.
Murphy would join Newcastle’s Under-23 squad ahead of next season.
In the meantime, Murphy can gain more valuable first-team experience with Galway, who are pushing for promotion from the League of Ireland First Division.
More deals could follow as the club’s new owners look to add to the talent at the Academy, which has fed a number of players into the first-team squad in recent seasons.
Does he play for his country?
Murphy has already earned international recognition. He’s captained and scored for the Republic of Ireland’s Under-18s, and was also a standby for the Under-21 squad late last year.
The hope is that he can continue his progress at international level once he moves to England.