By support

3rd Feb, 2017 | 3:35pm

Done deal: Finale to negotiations as striker agrees Aston Villa terms

By Matt Farr

Aston Villa youngster Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has signed a new long-term deal with the club, it was confirmed on Friday.

The 18-year-old striker has signed a new three-and-a-half-year-deal that will keep him at the club until 2020.

The news will come as a boost to Aston Villa fans, after the growing uncertainty that the young striker would remain at the club.

 

Hepburn-Murphy had been part of an ongoing feud with manager Steve Bruce, after stalling over his new contract offer from the Aston Villa hierarchy.

Despite a lack of goalscoring options, Bruce refused to pick him in the first-team squad until he made a decision over his future.

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A report from the Birmingham Mail at the start of last month revealed that negotiations had been ongoing for almost a year, but the player still had yet to agree to the new deal.

However, the club have now confirmed that Hepburn-Murphy has finally brought the contract saga to an end by signing a new deal.

The announcement was made via the club’s official Twitter account on Friday afternoon

Hepburn-Murphy could now be back in contention to make his long-awaited return to the first-team set-up against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

His last first-team appearance was in the defeat to Cardiff on January 2.

Football Insider verdict

In a week where Villa were embarrassed with a 3-0 defeat to Brentford, this is some fantastic news for the club. Hepburn-Murphy is a bright young talent, and for quite some time it looked like he was not going to play a part in their long-term future. Bruce simply wanted him to commit himself to the Villa cause, and his growing impatience at the lack of movement in negotiations was certain to spell the end for him. However, with the contract now signed, the pair can put all their issues behind them and focus on doing everything they can to get Aston Villa back into the Premier League. Bruce will benefit from having another striker at his disposal, while Hepburn-Murphy will benefit from being back in the first-team environment.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, Sky pundit Peter Beagrie has revealed why the signing of Scott Hogan will be crucial to Aston Villa this season.

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