Bookies make Reading 7/2 favourites to sign Newcastle's Daryl Murphy; Championship clubs also in contention

Newcastle United's Daryl Murphy celebrates scoring their first goal

Reading lead Birmingham City and Ipswich Town in the race to sign the Newcastle United hitman, according to the bookies.

Newcastle United's Daryl Murphy celebrates after scoring their second goalNewcastle United's Daryl Murphy celebrates 

Popular bookmakers SkyBET have installed the Royals as the new favourites in the race to sign Magpies striker Daryl Murphy, ahead of both the Blues and the Tractor Boys in the listings.

The 34-year-old only joined Newcastle last summer, but failed to make much of a positive impact on Rafa Benitez' side, making just seven Championship starts all season long.

And with the Spaniard reportedly keen on strengthening his forward line, the 23-capped Republic of Ireland international's future at St James' Park seems uncertain to say the least.

SkyBET believe that Murphy could very well be plying his trade away from Tyneside next term, and make Jaap Stam's Reading the 7/2 favourites to sign the striker, ahead of Birmingham and Ipswich, who are listed at 4/1 and 5/1 respectively.

Despite the Newcastle man's advancing years, he is still well capable of doing a job in the Championship, and would be a useful addition to any of the aforementioned clubs' squads.

He is strong when in possession, and provides his defence with a fantastic outlet when they are under pressure.

He was at Ipswich before joining the Magpies last summer, so his familiarity with the area would surely make a move back to East Anglia a very real possibility.

Wolves' Dominic Iorfa (L) in action with Newcastle United's Daryl MurphyNewcastle United's Daryl Murphy in action

On the other hand, Harry Redknapp has become renowned throughout his years in management for getting the best out of ageing stars, so a move to St Andrews could also appeal to the Newcastle forward.

From a pure footballing perspective, however, a move to Reading to play under Jaap Stam would surely be the most attractive of options for Murphy, what with their chances of securing promotion to the Premier League.

With so many interested parties monitoring Murphy's situation, however, it would take a brave man to predict where he will be plying his trade next season.

Daryl Murphy of Newcastle United scores their first goalDaryl Murphy of Newcastle United 

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