West Brom target in dramatic transfer U-turn amid Portsmouth and Derby links

Josh Murphy's two goals secured promotion for Oxford.Josh Murphy's two goals secured promotion for Oxford.
Josh Murphy's two goals secured promotion for Oxford. | Getty Images
The future of a West Bromwich Albion, Portsmouth and Derby County target was uncertain but the situation has been clarified.

Josh Murphy, twice a goalscorer for Oxford United in Sunday’s dramatic League One play-off final against Bolton Wanderers, has been linked with a move to an array of Championship clubs.

The 29-year-old’s brace at Wembley Stadium rounded off a remarkable campaign as the U’s were promoted to the English second tier with a 2-0 win over Bolton. The two goals were Murphy’s ninth and 10th of the season, understandably gaining the attention of potential suitors.

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West Brom, Portsmouth and Derby have been linked with a move for Murphy. The Baggies are looking to add attacking depth, while Pompey and the Rams are eager to bolster their forward lines following promotion.

Murphy thrust his future into doubt earlier this week by hinting at a move at a level above that of Oxford. “I want to play as high as I can. I think I owe it to myself, to my family, and to the club," Murphy told the Oxford Mail.

"We’re in the Championship now, so let’s see what happens. I just want to take my mind off everything. It’s been a long season, a tough season, and I just want to enjoy myself."

Josh Murphy's two goals secured promotion for Oxford.Josh Murphy's two goals secured promotion for Oxford.
Josh Murphy's two goals secured promotion for Oxford. | Getty Images

But just days afterward, Murphy appears to have had a change of heart, dealing a blow to every club keen on signing him. “I’d love to be in these colours next year. I’m happy and settled at this club, I’m still enjoying it,” Murphy told SportsBoom.

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“I’m buzzing for the gaffer [Des Buckingham], it’s been an up and down time since he’s been here. But I think he’s a brilliant coach and a brilliant manager, he got what he deserves.

“I’m happy for him and the boys and I’ve got every faith we can do well in the Championship next season. We play a good brand of football and this is an exciting group of players,” Murphy continued.

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