Daryl Murphy in the dark over where his future lies

IPSWICH TOWN match-winner Daryl Murphy remains in the dark over his long-term future at Celtic but could have increased his chances of making a permanent switch to Portman Road in the summer.

The 29-year-old loan striker scored his fourth goal of the season in the Blues’ 1-0 victory over Barnsley, spurned a second chance, and generally impressed as Town made it eight games unbeaten at Portman Road.

Murphy’s versatility may be a tick in the box for the Irishman as manager Paul Jewell plots his summer transfer moves, with the former Sunderland man having performed well in an unorthodox midfield role for large parts of the campaign.

But it was in attack, where he impressed against Barnsley, following a tactical switch by Jewell that saw Lee Martin revert to the left-wing, and proved a nuisance to the Barnsley backline with his strength, guile and movement.

The Irish international has a year left remaining on his deal with the Scottish giants but is unsure whether he will be part of Hoops manager Neil Lennon’s plans come the start of pre-season.

However, Jewell may choose to look elsewhere, especially as talks with Jason Scotland are on-going over a new deal on reduced terms – the striker signing a waiver over the weekend, meaning he will not now receive an automatic, new one-year contract on the same money should he make two more starts for the club.

“Nothing has been said (about staying at Ipswich) but obviously I have enjoyed my time here and I am looking forward to finishing the season on a high, going into the summer break,” said a coy Murphy.

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“As far as I know I am going back to Celtic as I have a year left on my contract there but it’s a great club here and I came back (for a second loan spell) because of how much I enjoyed it here first time.

“The fans are great and with the squad you have here, there is the core of a very good team.”

Murphy joined Michael Chopra in attack and reunited the partnership the pair has when they were team-mates at Sunderland.

“I had forgotten what it was like to play in attack and how to run the channels,” joked Murphy.

Town officially opened the Sir Alf Ramsay Stand, otherwise known as the South Stand at the weekend, with the captain of the 1961-62 First Division championship-winning side, Andy Nelson, cutting the ribbon.