Confirmed: Striker makes Aston Villa U-turn
By Amir Mir
Steve Bruce has stated that Aston Villa attacker Rushian Hepburn-Murphy won’t be involved in their FA Cup clash against Tottenham because of a contract U-turn.
The former Hull City boss explained that the 18-year-old is yet to commit his future to the club and won’t play for the first team again until he pens a new deal.
Hepburn-Murphy came on as a late substitute during Villa’s 1-0 loss at Cardiff on Monday afternoon – only his second appearance for the Championship side this term – after Bruce was told the teenager would sign a new contract.
But that did not prove to be the case and the Villa manager has decided to freeze out the academy product unless he signs.
The academy graduate, who plays as a striker, is highly rated at the club with his contract due to expire this summer.
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According to the Birmingham Mail, the Midlands side have offered the youngster “a massive pay-rise to keep him at the club” – wages no other Villa academy graduate has received at this age.
This was Bruce’s verdict on Hepburn-Murphy ahead of the FA Cup clash against Tottenham.
“He (Hepburn-Murphy) won’t be involved,” said Bruce, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail. “We have made a fantastic offer to the young boy but until he commits he won’t be involved.
“I involved him (at Cardiff) because I was informed he would sign but he hasn’t yet. Until he commits then I won’t commit to him. I would rather get a young player in who will commit.”
Hepburn-Murphy has scored six goals in ten appearances for the Villa under-23’s this season. But, he is yet to find the back of the net in four senior games.
Bruce’s side go into the fixture against Spurs looking to break the London club’s unbeaten record on home soil this season.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side recorded an impressive victory against Premier League leaders Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Additionally, they defeated Villa 3-1 during their Premier League encounter last season.
In other Aston Villa news, Steve Bruce has revealed how many January signings he wants.