Murphy link wishful thinking - Hibs boss

Norwich City can forget about a potential New Year swoop for Hibernian's highly-rated defender David Murphy - according to Hibs' boss John Collins

Norwich City can forget about a potential New Year swoop for Hibernian's highly-rated defender David Murphy - according to Hibs' boss John Collins.

The Canaries are among a posse of Championship clubs linked with the 23-year-old left back ahead of the January transfer window opening.

City boss Glenn Roeder recruited Birmingham defender Martin Taylor last week to beef up a defensive unit missing Gary Doherty (groin) and longer term absentee Adam Drury. The former skipper now faces months out after undergoing knee ligament surgery.

Murphy recently hinted his long term future lay in England, with Bolton reportedly inquiring about the former Middlesbrough trainee earlier this season - but Collins is convinced the defender will remain at Easter Road.

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"He is a quality footballer and I am sure that there will come a time when we receive an offer that we can't refuse for him," said Collins.

"The lad comes from England and has always said that he would like to go back there eventually. He is an ambitious boy and wants to play at the highest level possible and I can understand that.

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"We would love to give him everything that he wants but it's just not possible because we are not in the English Premiership and that's where he wants to be playing his football at some time in the future.

"We have got to be realistic about the situation. I could sit here and say that David Murphy is going nowhere but we all know that is not the case. He will move on eventually, but it won't be in January."

The Hartlepool-born defender is currently under contract at Easter Road until 2010 after moving north in 2004.

"Obviously from the club's point of view, David is under contract and he is a quality football player so it would have to be an offer we couldn't refuse," said Collins.

"But at the end of the day I am a football manager and I would rather have a player like David in my side than the money."

Collins insisted Murphy's consistent displays this season have been a major factor in the Edinburgh's club attempt to challenge the Old Firm - with Collins' side currently third in the Scottish Premier.

"Murphy has probably been our best player since I have been at the club, the most consistent." said the ex-Celtic, Fulham and Monaco midfielder.

"He is probably one of the unsung heroes. Fans of the opposition won't appreciate him but ask any Hibs' supporter if they do and every one of them will have a huge smile on their face and say 'yes'. I'm delighted we haven't had any bids but I would imagine there will come a day when someone will come in with a big offer for Murph.

"It's inevitable when you keep playing good football week in, week out."

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