Aston Villa are said to be one of three Championship sides chasing the signature of Newcastle United forward Daryl Murphy, according to The Irish Sun.

Steve Bruce is making a big overhaul of his squad at Villa Park as he bids to lead the sleeping giant back to the Premier League and the Republic of Ireland international is the latest player is he targeting to improve his options.

The Villans are expected to face competition from Sunderland and Nottingham Forest for the 34-year-old Irishman.

Murphy only moved to St James’ Park last summer but after a season where he could only make 14 appearances in the Championship and just 17 in total he has been told he can leave Newcastle.

The Irishman has made a name of being something of a specialist in the second tier in England with him scoring 67 goals in 217 matches in a lengthy spell at Ipswich Town. He also struck 10 times in 38 games for Sunderland at that level too.

The Black Cats and Forest are said to be interested in a loan deal for Murphy whereas Villa could be looking at a permanent move which could be of more interest to Rafael Benitez.

The Spaniard is looking to bolster his striking options this summer so an allowance to let the veteran Irishman leave could be considered a surprise but with just four goals in 72 Premier League matches in his career it appears the Newcastle boss thinks the former Ipswich man is not good enough for the top flight.

That will be music to the ears of the trio chasing him not least Bruce who is keen to add Murphy to John Terry as new signings at Villa Park with plenty more incomings expected ahead of the start of the season.

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