Bristol City Set To Make First Move For Highly Sought-After Midfielder

Bristol City are hoping to steal a march on midfielder Adam Murphy, who looks set to leave League of Ireland club St Patrick’s Athletic, according to Bristol Live.

The 18-yer-old has enjoyed his breakout season, making 34 appearances in all competitions as the Saints finished third behind champions Shamrock Rovers and runners-up Derry City, whilst also winning the FAI Cup. His form at domestic level has earned him a spot in the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad and he is expected to make the move to England next month.

Murphy came close to joining Bristol City in the summer, but the move fell through with then-manager Nigel Pearson conceding defeat towards the end of the transfer window. Speaking in August, the 60-year-old addressed the situation, saying:

“He’s not coming, that’s my understanding. It’s not a deal I’ve been particularly involved in, so as far as I know, it’s not happening.”

Pearson departed Ashton Gate following a poor run of form at the end of October and was replaced by Oxford United boss Liam Manning, with the club reiterating their ambition to earn promotion to the Premier League.

Despite the managerial change, it is claimed that the Robins’ interest in the teenager remains, and they will look to revisit the deal next month. Bristol Live state that Murphy would be available for free, although St Patrick’s would be due compensation. However, several other clubs are also keen to strike a deal.

According to the report, division rivals Southampton are also monitoring the situation, as are League One promotion hopefuls Derby County. There has also been interest from the Premier League, with Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and Manchester City having all deployed scouts to watch the teenager in action.

The Championship club believe that they are the frontrunners in the race to secure his signature though, having held positive talks throughout the summer.

Manning has guided his side up the table since his appointment and they now sit in eighth, just one point behind Sunderland in sixth. Yesterday’s 4-1 win over Watford was their third in succession and they will hope to continue their good form on Friday when they visit struggling Birmingham City.

Writer’s View

Bristol City have made it clear that they will be looking for reinforcements in January as they look to sneak into the play-offs. The League of Ireland has provided an abundance of emerging talent in recent years and Murphy looks to be the latest destined to play in England.

The Robins will be well aware of the interest from elsewhere, hence why they are trying to put the deal to bed early. It’s an attractive project and, Derby aside, one that perhaps will offer the biggest chance of first team minutes out of the clubs stated.

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