Newcastle United are set to sign Galway United star Alex Murphy, holding off a scatter of other clubs in the battle for the 17-year-old.

Murphy, a native of Annaghdown who joined United's academy from Corrib Celtic, will move to England after he turns 18 this summer.

That's welcome news, at least, for John Caulfield. The Tribesmen boss has high hopes for Murphy but will be keen that he plays as much as possible in the club's push for promotion.

Murphy has been linked with Brighton, as well as Torino and Celtic, but Newcastle and boss Eddie Howe have won the race.

RTÉ Sport understands that Galway United's representatives are very pleased with how discussions have gone on Tyneside and will see the transfer as evidence that their burgeoning academy, led by club legend Johnny Glynn, is progressing as hoped.

Murphy turns 18 on 25 June, after which he can make his move to the UK. He made his first-team debut last June against Athlone Town as a 16-year-old and has become a regular in Caulfield's side, mainly at left-back.

He signed his first professional contract in January with Galway. He has been a regular at underage level for Ireland and was even on standby for the Ireland Under-21 squad in October.