NEWCASTLE UNITED are inviting offers for Daryl Murphy, with the striker admitting Rafael Benitez has told him he is extremely unlikely to be involved in the Premier League next season.

Murphy, who still has one year of his current contract to run, made 15 appearances as Newcastle won the Championship title last season, scoring five goals.

He made some valuable contributions, most notably in January’s back-to-back victories over Brentford and Rotherham, but his £4.5m signing from Ipswich Town last summer was always regarded as a means of adding some Championship experience to the squad.

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It was always anticipated that promotion could signal the end of the 34-year-old’s involvement at St James’ Park, and with Benitez hoping to add a couple of new forwards this summer, he has been told Newcastle are touting his services to clubs in the second tier.

There is likely to be considerable interest in the Republic of Ireland international, and having moved to Tyneside with his eyes wide open, Murphy insists there will be no hard feelings if he is forced to depart.

“I have got another year, but I spoke to him (Benitez) last week and he said, ‘It is going to be hard for you to play next year. We are going to listen to a few offers’,” said the Irishman. “I said, ‘That’s fine’.

“He thanked for me what I have done. At the end of the day, I always knew that was what I had been brought in there to do. I had no illusions that I was going to be starting for Newcastle in the Premier League if we got promoted.

“In football, you never know, but I can’t see that happening the way the club wants to go forward and the money he is going to spend on players. I always knew that was going to be the case, but we will see what happens. I have another year and I will go back there in pre-season and just look at my options.”

Murphy barely featured in the first half of last season, but became an increasingly influential presence in the second half of the campaign as Dwight Gayle struggled with a series of hamstring problems.

Benitez rotated Murphy and Aleksandar Mitrovic effectively in the closing months of the season, and Murphy was extremely impressed with the Spaniard’s man-management skills.

“He managed it very well,” he said. “We had a lot of players and a lot of big-name players, and maybe if it had been another manager, he wouldn’t have got the best out of them as there would have been players sulking.

“He managed the rotation spot on. He used every player in the squad at the right time, so everybody was fighting for a place.”

Murphy’s season is not yet finished as he is currently on international duty with Ireland, but when he looks back on his contribution to Newcastle’s title success, he is able to take a significant sense of pride.

“When Dwight Gayle got injured, I looked at that and thought, ‘It’s me and Mitrovic as out-and-out strikers. I have got a chance here’,” he said. “Then I think Mitrovic got injured or picked up a niggle, so basically I was in.

“I knew then I had to produce, and I got three goals in three games and we got some good results. In the first game I got on, Dwight got injured against Brentford away after 20 minutes and it was 1-1, and I got the winner for him and it was a big result.

“At the end of the season, when the medals were being given out, I probably didn’t start many games – nine or ten maybe – but I felt I deserved that medal.”