Murphy linked to Bowyer transfer

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The Independent Football

It is also unlikely that the former Liverpool midfielder wants to move to the North-east, although he has become unsettled by Charlton's dip in form.

However, Bowyer is desperate to return to London, and is also exciting interest at West Ham United and Fulham, with Portsmouth, who are also considering a move for Aston Villa's Lee Hendrie, hoping that an offer of £1m could prove tempting to the Newcastle manager, Graeme Souness, and the player.

Despite his controversial past, Bowyer remains a player in demand. When he moved to Newcastle two years ago, on a "Bosman" ruling from West Ham, there was interest from 12 other clubs and he is likely to take his time before leaving St James' Park. A stumbling block for any club wanting to buy the 29-year-old could be his wages.

Yesterday Souness admitted that Murphy was an option should Bowyer, who he wants to sell, go. He said: "If, and it's a big if, Bowyer leaves then we will be one short in midfield. Danny Murphy is a quality player, who has been in and is on the fringes of the England squad." Newcastle do not, however, want to let Bowyer go cheaply.

The Charlton manager, Alan Curbishley, said that the speculation over Murphy's future - he has also been linked to Manchester City - was upsetting the player. "There is nothing in anything," he claimed.