Watford are stepping up their bid to beat Rangers and Southampton to the signing of Newcastle star Jacob Murphy this summer, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

This site revealed on 14th April that the Glasgow giants and Premier League outfit are in hot pursuit of the versatile 26-year-old.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Watford have now made Murphy their number one transfer target if they secure promotion to the Premier League.

That possibility moved a giant step closer following their Championship win over already-promoted Norwich City on Tuesday.

Watford need a maximum of three more points from their final three games to secure an instant return to the Premier League.

The converted wing-back is not available on a summer free as he has another year remaining on his Newcastle contract.

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That will mean suitors will have to pay around £3m to prise him from Newcastle.

Rangers, who were keen on Murphy in January and last summer, remain interested in a potential deal, while Southampton are also monitoring the player’s situation.

Newcastle have yet to decide on their plans for the converted full-back ahead of the summer window.

Rangers

Murphy, who can play on either flank, has made 25 appearances in total for United this season, including 11 Premier League starts among 20 games in the competition.

He has started the last three Newcastle matches, which have yielded two wins and a draw, at right-back and played the full 90 minutes in each.

In other news, Rangers have been tipped to seal Scandinavian partnership by finance guru after surprise U-turn.