Report: Irish talent to sign for Newcastle after Celtic scouting trip in February

By David Walton

April 13, 2022

Galway United defender Alex Murphy is set to agree a summer move to Newcastle United after previously being linked with Celtic, RTE reports.

The Hoops’ initial interest in the 17-year-old Irish talent was reported back in February. It was claimed that Celtic had sent Willie McStay to go and watch Murphy in action at Turner’s Cross in an Irish First Division match in Cork [Irish Examiner].

Back then, it was reported by the Examiner that Newcastle had already launched a €100k [£83k] bid for the defender. It’s unclear whether Celtic decided to make an official approach after scouting him.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Regardless, RTE reports that he’ll move to England after he turns 18 in the summer. It’s said that Galway were very pleased with how negotiations went with Newcastle and see it as evidence of the progress of their academy.

Murphy broke into the first-team for Galway last June at 16 years of age and only signed his first professional contract back in January.

Celtic have already dipped into the Irish market this season, securing the likes of Liam Scales and Johnny Kenny from Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers respectively.

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Alex Murphy to Newcastle United looks a done deal; no sign of concrete Celtic move

Judging by the report from RTE, it looks as though this is more or less a done deal. It’s also yet another sign of clubs in the UK bringing over young Irish talents to bolster their development.

But there doesn’t appear to have been a concrete move from the Hoops reported. So narratives of us having competed with Newcastle and other clubs for his signature could easily be premature.

The likes of Brighton and Torino were both mentioned by RTE as cubs that had been linked in the past too. However, Newcastle appears to be his next destination.

Photo by Lindsey Parnaby/Pool via Getty Images

Murphy has made 19 appearances for Galway United in total, and is clearly being eyed as one for the future [Transfermarkt]. Any potential move from the Hoops would surely have been with an eye on strengthening their B team ranks.

Best of luck to the youngster in any case. Hopefully he manages to carve out a career for himself down south.

In other news, Why Nadir Ciftci wasn’t given a Celtic Park return by St Johnstone boss on Saturday