The Republic of Ireland international netted five league goals for the Magpies last season, despite making just seven starts, but Rafa Benitez is seemingly keen on an upgrade ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
And The Sun's report claims that Sunderland, Murphy's former club and Newcastle's rivals, have made a loan bid for the forward.
The appeal to Simon Grayson and the Black Cats is clear, recruiting a proven Championship goalscorer on a short-term deal that would leave them free of a contractual obligation should they seal promotion next summer.
But the move would have to work for Newcastle, too - and this one simply does not.
As much as Benitez is looking to get players off the books ahead of making new signings, he would also surely welcome a boost of funds. Murphy's reputation means he still has some value on the market.
With the former Ipswich Town man's current deal at St James' Park expiring in a year, too, a season-long loan deal would see Newcastle fail to recoup any return on their player.
And would the Magpies really want to aid their nearest and not-so-dearest? It is an ambitious move from Sunderland, but it seems unlikely.