John Wark hopes Daryl Murphy stays at Ipswich Town amidst plenty of Championship interest

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: sarah lucy brown

Ipswich Town legend John Wark hopes that Daryl Murphy stays at the club this summer.

The Irish striker scored 27 goals to finish last season as the Championship’s surprise top-scorer as the Blues enjoyed their best campaign in a decade – finishing sixth with 78 points before losing to rivals Norwich in the play-off semi-finals.

Newly-relegated duo Burnley and QPR, as well as fellow second-tier clubs Middlesbrough, Cardiff and Fulham, are believed to be interested in signing Murphy this summer off the back of the best form of his career, something he puts down to a combination of working with manager Mick McCarthy and assistant Terry Connor, his family being settled in Suffolk and the confidence that being played as a striker with the No.9 on his back gave him.

We understand that Murphy is very much keen to stay at Portman Road. However, with his contract at Portman Road effectively expiring in two years’ time he may be tempted – at the age of 32 – to sign a more lucrative and longer deal elsewhere if no extension is offered by Town.

Rising stars such as Teddy Bishop and Tyrone Mings were rewarded with longer contracts in the middle of last season, but Murphy – despite his red-hot goalscoring form around Christmas – was not offered an extension.

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His current deal expires at the end of next season, but the Blues can activate a clause that would tie him to the club for an extra year on top of that – until 2017 when he will be aged 34.

“There was always going to be a lot of clubs sniffing around Daryl after the season he’s just had,” said Wark. “He’s a great guy and has been fantastic for us. Personally I hope he stays, I think everyone does, but what will be, will be.

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“He loves the area and he loves working for the manager, but you never know what’s around the corner in football.

“Some moves are right for everyone involved at the time. I didn’t want to leave Ipswich for Liverpool (in 1984) but the club needed the money, other players were leaving and I couldn’t see us winning things. It was a move that worked out well for me but I came back as soon as I could because I loved the area.

“I know Daryl and every time I speak to him he says how much he loves it here, but he’s just had the best season of his career, he’s 32 and I’m sure he would have to think long and hard if a club came in with a longer deal or more money.

“Never underestimate how much being settled and the happiness of your family plays a part though. His kids are in school here and he doesn’t strike me as someone who is motivated solely by money.”

Wark added: “He did okay for Ireland (against England) at the weekend and I’m sure if he smacks one in against Scotland (on Saturday), which I obviously hopes he doesn’t, then there will be even more interest.

“I just hope he’s still an Ipswich Town players when the new season starts because you always want to keep hold of your best players.”

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