West Brom, others beaten to outstanding transfer by Championship rivals

A general view of the Sports Direct Stadium during the Barclays Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle.

QPR, along with Sunderland, West Brom, and other Championship clubs, were linked with the League One play-off final winner.

However, QPR and several other Championship clubs have missed out on signing winger Josh Murphy, who has opted to join newly promoted Portsmouth.

Portsmouth confirmed the signing of the former Premier League star on Tuesday evening after he left Oxford United as a free agent. Murphy made headlines by scoring both goals in the League One play-off final, propelling Oxford United into the second tier.

Although Oxford United were keen to retain their star player and offered him a new contract, Murphy has chosen to collaborate with John Mousinho at Fratton Park. The News had reported interest from Sunderland, West Brom, Derby County, Hull City, and QPR, all eyeing a free transfer for the player.

Marti Cifuentes’ team is actively seeking a winger this summer. Uncertainty surrounds Ilias Chair’s future at Loftus Road, and Chris Willock has yet to finalize a new contract as his current deal nears its end. Rumors also link Beerschot winger Thibaud Verlinden with a move to QPR this window.

Securing Murphy, primarily a left winger but versatile across both flanks, would have been a significant acquisition for QPR. Murphy has previously featured in the Premier League with Norwich City and Cardiff City, with the latter paying £11 million for his services in 2018.

Upon confirming the signing, Mousinho expressed on the Portsmouth club website: “Josh brings with him a wealth of experience from the Premier League and Championship. He was one of the standout players in League One during the latter half of last season, highlighted by his brace at Wembley that helped Oxford achieve promotion.

“He’s an electrifying winger who contributes both goals and assists. His pace and ability on either flank make him an exciting player who can thrill the fans. We’re thrilled to have completed the deal.”

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