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Aston Villa & Newcastle United Square Up In Race For League One Midfielder Luke Murphy

St James’ Park and Villa Park sides keen on Crewe Alexandra youngster.

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Premier League duo Aston Villa and Newcastle United will go up against each other in the race for Crewe Alexandra’s Luke Murphy the Express & Star believes.

The 23-year-old has caught the eye this season thanks to a string of fine performances capped off with a goal in their recent Johnston’s Paint Trophy victory over Southend United.

Another product of the ever impressive Crewe youth system, he is expected to head for the exit this summer and follow in the footsteps of Nick Powell and Ashley Westwood who left the club last summer.

Westwood joined Villa at the beginning of the season and is could be crucial in Murphy’s decision on his future.

Under Paul Lambert Villa have taken chances on a number of lower league stars as he looks to rebuild the club with young and hungry players following two years of stagnation and uncertainty. He has also been tasked with lowering the wage bill in the face of the new FIFA Fair Play regulations.

However, he hasn’t been the only manager to take a closer look at Murphy as Magpies boss, Alan Pardew is also said to be keen.

Murphy first broke into the Crewe side in 2008 and has since gone on to make 178 appearances for the Railwaymen, scoring 22 goals.

His current contract has less than 18 months to run and could be available for a cut price fee of just under £1 million.

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