MIDDLESBROUGH are one of a number of clubs to have inquired about signing Newcastle United midfielder Jacob Murphy on a season-long loan.

Murphy is in the final year of his contract with the Magpies, but after spending last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, Steve Bruce does not envisage the 25-year-old featuring in Newcastle’s first-team squad next season.

In an ideal world, the Newcastle hierarchy would like to sell Murphy this summer in order to recoup at least some of the £12m that was shelled out to sign him in 2017.

However, there is an acceptance that Championship clubs are unlikely to be in a position to commit a significant sum to his capture, therefore the next best scenario is a loan deal that at least removes his wages from the books next season.

Boro boss Neil Warnock is keen to bolster his attacking ranks this summer, and has made the acquisition of a new wide player a priority after Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha both returned to Manchester City at the end of their loan deals.

The Teessiders have signalled their interest in acquiring Murphy, who scored against them for Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the season, but face competition from a number of different quarters as they look to push through a deal.

Sheffield Wednesday’s hopes of extending Murphy’s stay at Hillsborough might well have been scuppered by the 12-point penalty they incurred at the end of last season, but the winger’s former employers, Norwich City, are keen on a deal as they attempt to regroup in the wake of their relegation to the Championship.

Brentford are also understood to be interested, although their summer dealings will be heavily influenced by which players leave in the wake of their play-off final disappointment.

Whatever happens, Murphy does not appear to have a future at St James’, with Bruce mindful of the need to keep squad numbers at a viable level. Last season, the Newcastle boss had to leave the likes of Jack Colback and Henri Saivet out of his first-team squad even though they were contracted to the club.

Bruce is expected to add Jeff Hendrick to his first-team group in the next few days, with the Republic of Ireland international poised to sign as a free agent following his release from Burnley.

Hendrick has held discussions with a number of clubs both in England and on the continent in the last few weeks, but Newcastle officials are confident of being able to tie up a deal.

The 28-year-old will add plenty of experience to the Magpies’ midfield mix, and is regarded as an upgrade on Nabil Bentaleb, who spent the second half of last season on loan from Schalke.

Newcastle were offered the opportunity to sign Bentaleb on a permanent basis this summer, but felt both the fee being demanded by Schalke and the midfielder’s wage demands were too high.

Tom Allan signed a new two-year contract with Newcastle yesterday, but the youngster will spend next season with League One side Accrington Stanley.

Allan broke into the Magpies’ senior ranks last season, making his first-team debut in January’s FA Cup third-round replay win over Rochdale, when he set up a goal for Joelinton.

The 20-year-old forward finished last season as Newcastle’s leading goalscorer at Under-23s level, and was named on the bench for four of the club’s post-lockdown matches after Steve Bruce promoted him to the senior group.

Bruce rates Allan highly, but regards a season on loan with Accrington as the best way of aiding his development in the next 12 months.