Celtic & Brighton transfer target reacts to imminent Newcastle United move

Newcastle United have agreed to sign highly-rated Irish defender Alex Murphy from Galway United.

Alex Murphy is “buzzing” to join Newcastle United after the Premier League club reached an agreement with Galway United to sign the highly-rated defender.

It was announced on Saturday that Murphy will join Magpies, who beat Celtic, Brighton and Torino to his signature, in July and link up with Elliott Dickman’s under-23s.

The 17-year-old, who turns 18 in June, has been a regular for Galway at left-back, missing just one of their 16 games.

The versatile defender joined the League of Ireland First Division from Corrib Celtic aged 14 and quickly progressed through the age groups.

Indeed, he made his senior debut against Athlone Town in June last year at the tender age of 16.

Murphy has also captained the Republic of Ireland at under-18s level and was a standby for the under-21s squad late last year.

Academy manager Steve Harper labelled the imminent arrival of Murphy as a “real coup”. The teenager himself couldn’t hide his excitement at joining United.

Alex Murphy is “buzzing” with Newcastle move

​​”I’m buzzing to join such a big club,” Murphy told Galway’s club website.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me get to this stage, especially all my coaches at Corrib Celtic, Galway FA and Galway United.”

Galway United boss John Caulfield added: “As a club, it’s fantastic news that one of our own lads has come through the academy and has achieved such a fantastic move.

“Only less than 12 months ago, Alex was not capped by Ireland underage and was really not known outside of our academy. He made his first-team debut at 16 years of age. Within 12 months, he’s been part of our first team, with over 25 first-team appearances and is now joining Newcastle in the Premier Division.”

“It’s an honour and a privilege to have a player who has got to that level within 12 months.

“Alex himself, his attention to detail, the way he has grown over the last 12 months, what he has taken on board and how he has improved himself has been a credit to himself and his family, Brian and Majella.

“It just shows that at Galway United, the opportunity for our players from our academy to progress to the first team is there if players have the determination, the attitude and the ability to come through. The opportunities are massive.

“While we are disappointed to be losing such a talented player midway through the season, at the same time, it’s an unbelievable opportunity for him to go to Newcastle United, and we are delighted to have played a big part in his career.”