EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Newcastle winger Jacob Murphy is closing in on a loan move to West Bromwich Albion, Football Insider understands.
West Brom are in the market for attacking reinforcements after seeing Harvey Barnes leave earlier this month following his recall by Leicester.
Newcastle are poised to sign Jordan Lukaku on loan from Lazio and Benitez feels he has enough cover to allow him to loan out Murphy.
A number of clubs have expressed an interest in taking Murphy on loan, but a well-placed source has told Football Insider that West Brom are in pole position to land the former Norwich City star after opening talks on a deal that runs for the rest of the season.
Murphy has found his first-team chances limited at Newcastle this season with competition for places in midfield fierce at St James’ Park.
The £10million signing from Norwich in the summer of 2017 has made just three starts in the Premier League this season with another six appearances off the bench.
The 23-year-old did start the two FA Cup ties against Blackburn Rovers earlier this month, but Rafa Benitez is now ready to sanction a loan move in the second half of the season for Murphy.