Newcastle United have opened talks with Jacob Murphy over a new contract as Rangers push for a January pre-contract deal, Football Insider understands.

The 25-year-old looked set for the St James’ Park exit over the summer but has reignited his career at the Premier League club this season.

Steve Bruce blocked Murphy from going out on another season-long loan in September and has backed up his actions by handing the player a first-team role.

Newcastle do not want to lose the player on a free transfer next summer, or to a cut-price January deal.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider the club are working on offering Murphy an extension to his contract, and preliminary discussions are underway.

Rangers have made clear their interest in the versatile wide man, and are readying a pre-contract offer.

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As revealed by this site, Rangers made an approach to sign Murphy in the summer along with Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Stoke City in the race to land him on a season-long loan.

The former £10million man remains on the radar of Steven Gerrard’s high-flying side ahead of the upcoming window.

Rangers could sign Murphy on a pre-contract deal as cross-border rules mean they would not have to pay a fee to tie him down early ahead of next summer.

Murphy, who can play on either wing, had not played for Newcastle for 20 months before being recalled to Bruce’s team in the EFL Cup in September.

He has gone on to make 10 appearances for United this season, including five Premier League starts and has thrived in a new wing-back role.

In other news, Rangers are “very keen” to seal blockbuster deal by 1 January as talks lined up.