Nottingham Forest have had an opening offer of £2 million for Newcastle United striker Daryl Murphy accepted, according to various reports.
The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Nottingham Post have all reported that Forest have made an official bid for the Irish striker, as Mark Warburton has turned his attention to signing a replacement for Britt Assombalonga who signed for Championship rivals Middlesbrough for £15 million earlier this week.
A proven goalscorer at Championship level
Despite the fact that losing 24-year-old Assombalonga was a bitter pill to swallow for many Forest supporters, the £15 million fee they recieved represents good business for the club. This money can now be reinvested back into the playing staff and the addition of Murphy would offer Forest another dimension and could prove to be an astute signing.
The 34-year-old has proven on many occasions in the past few years that he can find the back of the net with ease in the second tier. He scored five times for Newcastle last season, despite making a very limited number of appearances for the club during a campaign which saw them promoted to the Premier League. However, when he was called upon, he produced for the Magpies and maintained a professional attitude throughout.
It is understandable why Rafael Benítez is willing to offload the striker this summer for a variety of different reasons. Murphy rarely featured for the club last season so is unlikely to force his way into the team this time round in a higher division. He already has other quality strikers at his disposal such as Dwight Gayle, Ayoze Pérez and Alexander Mitrović who are all ahead of Murphy in the pecking order. Allowing Murphy to move on would also free up a place in the squad for him to bring in another forward if he wishes to do so.
Murphy has also had spells at Luton Town, Harrow Borough, Waterford United, Sunderland, Sheffield Wednesday, Celtic and Ipswich Town during his career. It was at Portman Road with Ipswich where he enjoyed the best period of his career as he hit 50 goals in 127 appearances for the club which led to the £3.5 million move to Newcastle last summer. His best season for Town came in 2014/15 as he scored 27 times as he helped the club achieve a finish in the play-off places.
Warburton looking to fill Assombalonga void
Since Assombalonga's departure, there have been a number of different strikers linked with a move to the club. Warburton has stated that he is looking to secure another two or three signings before Forest kick-off their season against Millwall at The City Ground in two weeks time, with a striker being high on his list of priorities.
Warburton told BBC Nottingham Sport that he was in the market for a striker following Forest's 2-0 win over neighbours Notts County at Meadow Lane in a pre-season friendly. He said: "We are looking for another striker. We hope to get at least two or three players by the start of the season. We are looking to bring in between three to five players. If the right quality becomes available we will move. The backing we have received from the owners so far has been tremendous."
Forest are not the only club to have registered an interest in securing Murphy's services ahead of next season. Both Sunderland and Birmingham City are also said to be interested. If the Reds were to miss out on the striker, other names such as Cameron Jerome of Norwich City have also been linked with a move to The City Ground.
Warburton also stated that the outgoing Assombalonga is a very talented player but the club had no power due to Boro triggering his release clause. He added: "Britt is a very talented player. He is a goalscorer and they are hard to come by, but a buyout clause was triggered and he wanted to leave. It was good business for the club and represents good value, so we wish Britt well and our job now is to build the squad with strong foundations and that is what we will do."