Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce

Alex McLeish has suggested that Steve Bruce could keep Jacob Murphy as a squad player at Newcastle United as Rangers circle for a move.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Birmingham City and Scotland manager believes that the winger can play a valuable backup role on Tyneside after his return from a loan at Sheffield Wednesday.

As revealed by Football Insider, Newcastle value the 25-year-old, who is into the final year of his contract at St James’ Park, at £3million as the likes of Rangers set their sights on his capture.

It is understood that the Magpies would consider a temporary move but they would demand both a £1million-plus loan fee and the winger’s £40,000-a-week wages to be covered in full.

Murphy spent the entirety of last season on loan at Wednesday and made more appearances for the Owls, 44, than he has done for Newcastle in three years.

However, McLeish believes that Bruce needs squad players to act as cover for his starting XI and suggests the former Norwich man could play his part during the upcoming campaign.

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McLeish told Football Insider: “They’ve invested quite a lot in recent days but maybe Steve Bruce will still hold onto him because we know you need big squads in the Premier League.

“When there’s a couple of injuries and sometimes a couple of injuries turns into a catalogue of injuries and then you don’t know where you’re coming from.

“If the books need to get rejiggled a little bit then Murphy could be a great signing for someone.” 

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce points

Murphy’s last competitive appearance for Newcastle came in an FA Cup defeat to Watford back in January 2019.

He spent the second half of the 2019/20 campaign on loan with West Brom before his temporary move to Hillsborough last summer.

In other Newcastle United news, the Magpies are set to table a surprise contract offer to a forward.