Fulham are heavily linked with a potential summer move for Norwich City’s winger Josh Murphy, according to a report from Here is the City this morning.
The Canaries are keen to keep hold of their best players despite their Premier League parachute payments coming to an end this summer and it would take a significant bid to seriously test Norwich’s desire to retain the 23 year-old winger. They are bracing themselves for offers for Murphy’s services, with a whole clutch of clubs interested in tempting him to pastures new.
Fulham are known to be looking for wingers over the course of the summer as Slavisa Jokanovic seeks to strengthen his squad ahead of their return to the Premier League. Sheyi Ojo’s loan spell from Liverpool didn’t work out as successfully as both parties might have planned, whilst there remain doubts about whether Lucas Piazon will be back at Craven Cottage for another year as negotiations over a possible deal continue with Chelsea.
Murphy managed eleven goals in 47 appearances, including a superb strike in the Canaries’ league win over Aston Villa and a goal in the EFL Cup at Arsenal, and has been regarded as one of the division’s brightest prospects for several years. He could follow his twin brother, Jacob, who was sold to Newcastle this time last year, to the Premier League and Brighton boss Chris Hughton, who handed the youngster his professional debut against Watford in September 2013 when he scored as the Canaries came back from 2-0 down to win, is rumoured to be keen on taking him to the south coast.
The HITC report also identifies Middlesbrough, where Tony Pulis is seeking to add wide players to his squad for another promotion push, although that bid would be distinctly ambitious. Norwich are thought to need to sell before they can provide Daniel Farke will funds for a summer recruitment drive and Fulham have already been heavily linked with another of the club’s outstanding talents in playmaker James Maddison.
Danny Murphy says Fulham are close to deciding on their new manager.
The former Craven Cottage star is part of a five-man committee assessing suitable candidates for the vacant post and he has told talkSPORT they are making good progress.
Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, he said: “We are getting much closer.
“We have been working quite hard, having a couple of meetings, and for any fans out there listening, we are nearly there.”
Kit Symons is the frontrunner for the job having enjoyed a successful spell in caretaker charge.
Billy McKinlay, Chris Hughton and Gianfranco Zola have also been linked with the post.
Danny Murphy has ruled himself out of the running for the Fulham job.
The former Cottagers star was heavily linked with the role following Felix Magath’s departure last month.
But Murphy has been included on the Fulham manager search committee, which also features Brian McBride, Niall Quinn, academy director Huw Jennings and season-ticket holder David Daly.
And, speaking on the Colin Murray show, the 37-year-old claims his inclusion on the panel has ended his participation in the race for the Craven Cottage hotseat.
When asked whether anyone in the group can also be up for the job, he told talkSPORT: “No. That was a conversation I had before going onto the panel. That ends that.
“I was disappointed, initially. When I thought about it objectively and I looked at the criteria needed for the Fulham job, I’m not ready for that.
“The fact I’ve been asked to have some sort of input and asked my opinion makes me feel proud, because it means I am valued in some capacity.
“I am in my infancy in terms of coaching. This is a great experience for me and I’m proud to be involved.”
Fulham fans are eager to for an appointment to be made, but Murphy admits it may take more than a month to appoint a new man at Craven Cottage.
“There’s not an exact deadline, but we’re thinking four to five weeks maximum,” he told Colin Murray.
“We will put together a shortlist and you need to get it down to single figures. The owner will have the ultimate say though.”
Shahid Khan has appointed a five-man committee to help him find Fulham’s permanent successor to Felix Magath.
The Fulham chairman had promised ‘a thorough and exhaustive search’ in his programme notes immediately after the sacking of the German coach a fortnight ago and has stayed true to his word, despite caretaker manager Kit Symons’ impressive start. Khan’s committee comprises of Nike senior director David Daly, head of the Fulham Academy Huw Jennings, former Fulham captains Brian McBride and Danny Murphy and the former Arsenal, Sunderland and Manchester City striker Niall Quinn.
Khan said in a club statement released this afternoon:
I’ve got the right five men to help us find the right man for Fulham. They each bring something similar, and yet unique, to the search. They understand what we want to achieve and they’re committed to the process. And they very much respect Fulham. They know this is a special job for a manager and they want to play a role in making sure we get this right for everyone who plays for Fulham or loves the club. And we will.
The chairman told Kit Symons last week that he will be considered as a candidate to take on the job on a full-time basis.
Felix Magath is instantly associated with the recent decay at Fulham but former skipper Danny Murphy believes there were signs of rot at Craven Cottage long before the German’s appointment in February.
Magath was sacked last week after a disastrous seven months; a period that saw the club spiral from a struggling Premier League side to a team stuck firmly at the bottom of the Championship.
While Murphy was among those pleased to see the back of Magath, the retired midfielder says there was trouble afoot when he was released two years ago. Fulham, then under the ownership of Mohamed Fayed and with Martin Jol as manager, had finished ninth in the Premier League but a summer exodus sparked a freefall.
“It goes back a lot further than Felix Magath,” Murphy said. “He’s taken a hammering, and rightly so, because what he’s done has been ludicrous but the problems started the summer I left.
“Clint Dempsey, Mousa Dembele, Andy Johnson, Bobby Zamora, Zoltan Gera and Dickson Etuhu all left. That’s half a dozen players – one of whom was top goalscorer for four years.
“They didn’t offer him a new contract, which he’d asked for, until the February and he’d already scored 20 goals. Andy Johnson was a valuable asset and a brilliant character.
“I was the captain and they tried to reduce what was already an average wage. The way they treated us was not far off a disgrace.
“Was it the manager? Was it the chief exec? Was it someone above? We don’t know. You make decisions together and they made those choices.
“They never needed to lose Clint, AJ or myself. Dimitar Berbatov was their only marquee signing, who was great for about four months. I’m not suggesting you keep the same team forever but to change it so radically and so quickly was always going to be negative. I made that known at the time.”
Fayed sold his club to Shahid Khan the following summer but there was no bright new dawn, with Jol sacked before Christmas, Rene Meulensteen in and out within two months to be replaced by Magath, who oversaw the club’s drop into the Championship.
There was another cull of players this summer, with club captain Brede Hangeland among those shown the door, having found out about his release via email.
It may seem like an unconventional way to part with one of Craven Cottage’s most popular players but – like issuing a remedy of cheese soaked in alcohol for a thigh injury – Magath was not one to do things by the book.
“As I said, it started long before Felix but he had the chance to fuse a squad ready for the Championship; keep some players and let some go,” said Murphy. “What he did was to allow an exodus of players. I think some of them were desperate to get out because of the regime and the crazy ways he was running the place.
“One story that springs to mind -much more significant than using cheese to fix an injury – is training for two-and-a-half hours on a Friday afternoon, the day before you play Stoke in a game you’ve got to win to stay in the Premier League. The lads were dead on their feet before half time.
“Ideas like that can’t be dressed up as anything other than crazy. The lads just couldn’t adapt to his ways. We can smile at the stories now but he’s part of a bigger picture that has put the club in this predicament.”
Caretaker boss Kit Symons will be in charge of the team again tonight as Fulham host Doncaster in the third round of the Capital One Cup.
Whoever takes over will face a huge rebuilding job when he inherits the damaged squad. Murphy is among those being linked with the job, although the 37-year-old has not yet had any contact with the club.
“I think the hierarchy will speak to lots of people. I don’t think they’re going to rush it. They need to make an informed decision because whatever formula they’ve used to recruit managers recently has failed miserably.
“It’s a shame that it’s come to this. It used to be a good place for people to play and for young lads to learn. Now it’s just trouble, trauma and stress.”