SUNDERLAND manager Steve Bruce says he'd be happy to allow Ireland forward Daryl Murphy to move to Ipswich Town on a long-term deal -- and that suits the Waterford-born player, who admits he has no interest in going back to the Stadium of Light to see out his contract.
Murphy was the longest-serving player in the Sunderland squad before he moved to Ipswich on loan last month, and he has another two seasons left on his contract with Sunderland.
But Bruce has made it clear that Murphy -- along with Northern Ireland international David Healy, who is also on loan to Ipswich -- does not have a future with the Black Cats, and Bruce says he's open to the idea of selling the pair.
"Both Daryl and David seem happy with Ipswich. If Ipswich are happy with them we'll sit down and see if we can sort out something agreeable to all parties," said Bruce.
"There's a big difference when dropping down to the Championship. This is reflected in wages and can be a barrier to stop a lot of players moving down. Both Daryl and David have been regular members of my squad, but realistically, to be fair to them, it is time to move on," added the ex-Wigan Athletic and Birmingham City boss.
Murphy has made a big impact since moving to Ipswich, scoring on his debut against Middlesbrough and, overall, the ex-Waterford United man has scored five goals in nine games.
"Being out of the Sunderland side had a major effect on my confidence. It got to the stage where I didn't even enjoy training because I was asking, 'what am I training for?'" said Murphy.
"I didn't feel part of it at all. So moving here to work with Roy (Keane) again was a no-brainer. The fact is I'm a striker. Of course, I'll do a job on the left if I am asked, but you'll get more out of me up front, and the sooner managers realise that the better.
"Roy has seen it. I've got five goals -- but should have had 14 -- since I came here. I like it at the club and don't really want to go back to Sunderland at the end of the season when I know that manager (Bruce) will bring in new players," added Murphy.
"What I like about Roy is the fact he says straight out the way he wants things done," said Murphy.
"He never goes behind a player's back. I think more of a man who tells you what he thinks rather than someone who may not have you in his plans, but who never comes out and says as much.
"Roy doesn't care if he hurts your feelings with what he has to say. And why should he? We're well paid. We're grown men. He isn't doing it out of spite. He is doing it because he wants you to become a better player.
"As far as I am concerned, if the manager is not telling you off, then he is not doing his job."
NORWICH boss Paul Lambert is delighted with the impact that former Ireland striker Stephen Elliott has made with the Canaries.
Elliott, 26, joined Norwich on loan from Preston earlier this month and has become an instant hit with fans of the high-flying Canaries as he scored twice in Saturday's 3-1 win away to Huddersfield in League One.
"Stephen Elliott came on and everybody saw his pace and what he's got and he scored two marvellous goals," said Lambert.
"He's an international player, and having nine caps for the Republic of Ireland means you're not a bad player. I'm absolutely delighted with his contribution."
JOHN McDonnell has quit as manager of Newry City after seven months in charge. The former St Pats boss took over the Irish League side for a second spell as manager, but Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Crusaders was his last game in charge.