'Josh has always excited me' - City winger completes £10m-plus Premier League switch
PUBLISHED: 15:59 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:09 12 June 2018
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Norwich City winger Josh Murphy is back in the Premier League after completing his move to Cardiff, for a deal worth in excess of £10m.
The 23-year-old FA Youth Cup winner has agreed a four-year deal to join the newly-promoted Premier League club.
The signing is Cardiff’s most expensive since capturing Chile international Gary Medel from Sevilla five years ago.
Saturday had seen Murphy linked with a Chris Hughton reunion at Brighton, alongside another promoted club in Fulham and Championship promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough.
However, Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock stole a march on them all – 12 months after Murphy’s twin Jacob was sold to a newly promoted Newcastle United for an initial £10m.
It means Norwich have pocketed in excess of £20m for the Murphy twins, who had been on the club’s books since the age of 11.
Warnock revealed Murphy was his number one transfer target.
“Josh is a player I’ve watched for a number of years now and he’s always excited me when he runs with the ball,” Warnock told the Bluebirds’ official site.
“I think he’s at the right age now with his best still to come. He can play an instrumental part in helping us to stay in the Premier League and I know he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“He’s been my number one target since the end of last season.”
City sporting director Stuart Webber, speaking to his club’s site, added: “We would all like to wish Josh well for the future. Josh, like his brother Jacob, will always be part of the Norwich City family.
“Josh has had some difficult times at the club and hasn’t always been every fan’s favourite, but he’s always got his head down and worked really hard to be the best he can be.
“Like his brother Jacob he came through our youth ranks and has been at Norwich all of his footballing life. He’s a real success story for the Academy.
“Josh was keen for a fresh challenge and Premier League football and we were offered a substantial fee, so we believe it’s a good deal for the player and Norwich City.”
Warnock’s side finished second in the Championship last season, having loaned out of favour City winger Yanic Wildschut from January. However, the Dutchman clocked just three starts and one assist – allowing Cardiff to forego an option to buy the City winger permanently on promotion; and instead turned to Murphy to strengthen their forward options.
City’s 2013 FA Youth Cup winner, who was contracted to Norwich until at least the summer of 2021, scored 20 goals in 108 appearances for the Canaries following his goal-scoring debut in a 3-2 League Cup win at Watford, back in September 2013.
Eleven of those goals came last season – including City’s goal of the season in April’s 3-1 win over Championship play-off finalists Aston Villa.
His well-taken goal at Arsenal also helped book Murphy’s place in last season’s Carabao Cup team of the tournament alongside the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero.
The Canaries are up against it in terms of finances this summer, as they continue their adjustment to life without Premier League parachute payments.
Although Murphy’s sale this window is unlikely to prevent the same of last term’s much-coveted player of the season James Maddison, it may well strengthen their bargaining position – while also giving head coach Daniel Farke and sporting director Stuart Webber the chance to continue their summer squad rebuilding plans.
City confirmed the eye-catching arrival of Argentina Under-20 international Emi Buendía from Getafe on Friday, for a fee believed to be in the region of £1.5m.
And City are still believed to be keen on making Moritz Leitner’s loan move from Augsburg last season a permanent switch during the current window, if a deal can be reached with the midfielder and his parent club.
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