Report: Newcastle leading race for Norwich winger Jacob Murphy

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United, Southampton and Crystal Palace are all interested in a move for Norwich City winger Jacob Murphy.

According to a report from the Daily Mirror, Newcastle are leading the race to sign Norwich winger Jacob Murphy, despite the Magpies facing competition from Southampton and Crystal Palace.

Murphy is attracting plenty of Premier League attention after a fine season for the Canaries in the Championship. He scored nine times and contributed six assists in the league to help him earn a spot in England's under-21 squad for the summer's European Championships.

Jacob Murphy of Norwich City celebrates scoring his teams first goalJacob Murphy of Norwich City

The Mirror reports that Murphy's displays during the Three Lions' run to the semi-finals has helped convince the top flight trio to make their move during this window, and all three are prepared to meet Norwich's £8 million asking price for the 22-year-old.

However, the Mirror adds that the lure of working with Rafa Benitez at a club with the stature of Newcastle has put the Magpies in the driving seat to win the race for his signature.

Given how well Murphy played last season - in what was his first full season in the first-team for Norwich - it would hardly be a surprise if signing him quickly proved to be a very smart piece of business. 

The youngster has plenty of time to get better still, but his form last term suggests that he could be capable of making an instant impact at the highest level if given the chance - so it is understandable that Benitez wants to make him his latest addition.

Newcastle United manager Rafa BenitezNewcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

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