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Bidding war for murphy

IPSWICH Town are facing a real battle to hold on to their Ireland striker Daryl Murphy as Championship rivals Middlesbrough and Burnley are ready to start a bidding war for the £3million-rated Waterford native.

Murphy, who was the leading scorer in English club football last season with 27 league goals for the Tractor Boys, has increased his stature after being given a starting role by Martin O'Neill in Ireland's last two internationals.

Middlesbrough, desperate to earn promotion next season after losing out to Norwich in the playoff final last month, have had a bid of £2.5m rejected by Ipswich.

But Burnley, who have money to spend following the sale of Danny Ings, are also keen on Murphy and they are expected to make a bid of £3m this week.

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy is not keen to sell Murphy, and the club rejected a £7m bid for fellow Irishman David McGoldrick last season, McCarthy repeatedly stressing that his club are more interested in winning promotion than banking cash from the sale of players.

But seeing as Ipswich signed Murphy on a free transfer from Celtic in 2013, selling the Ireland international now could be good business.

Murphy, 32, won a place in the starting XI against Scotland last week ahead of rivals strikers like Shane Long and Robbie Keane and he knows he needs the guarantee of first team football to keep him in the frame at international level.

Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town are tracking ex-Bohemians keeper Brian Murphy following his release from QPR. The Waterford man was included in a mass clear-out of players from Loftus Road, Richard Dunne also allowed leave, and despite a lack of first team football, Murphy is in demand and Huddersfield will try to complete a deal if their current No 2 Joe Murphy moves on. Brian Murphy made just one appearance for QPR last season.