Crewe Alexandra: No bids for Luke Murphy, says Steve Davis
STEVE Davis says he hasn't fielded transfer inquiries for Crewe captain Luke Murphy – and hopes that will remain the case throughout the January transfer window.
Manager Davis is used to seeing up to 30 scouts at Alex's home matches, but still finds it difficult to guess when a bid for one of his starlets is imminent.
In-form Murphy is generating the most interest at the moment, with Premier League clubs widely reported to be monitoring the central midfielder from Rode Heath.
The 23-year-old, who signed a two-year contract in September, scored his fifth goal of the season at Preston on Saturday when he ran on to Brad Inman's pass.
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He also set up Inman for Crewe's second – his seventh assist of the campaign – and played a role in the third, for Mathias Pogba to secure a 3-1 win which lifted the Railwaymen up to 12th in League One.
But Davis said: "I've had no inquiries about Luke or any of our players. Whether that comes in January or not we'll have to wait and see.
"It's hard to judge. If you go back a couple of months there were 30 scouts, if you go back a couple of weeks there were 30 scouts; you can't guess when people will make a move.
"I have a look down the list to see who's been and try to get some idea and normally at the very end of a scouting trail you get the manager or an assistant coming to have a look.
"At the moment, nobody's phoned me or the chairman, who would tell me straight away, and let's hope it stays that way."
Davis has already seen two of his stars leave Gresty Road in the 13 months he has been in charge.
Top-level interest in Nick Powell was confirmed when Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Everton boss David Moyes were in the stand when Crewe drew 2-2 with Aldershot in May.
The forward, aged 18, made a switch to Old Trafford in the summer to earn his old club up to £6m.
Central midfielder Ashley Westwood was being tipped for a big-money move at the start of this season before joining Aston Villa for £1.5m, although his destination remained more of a mystery.
Stoke City are among a clutch of top clubs said to be keeping tabs on Murphy, who already has 164 career appearances to his name.
And it would be no surprise if Villa, given the success of Westwood in the top flight, had considered trying to reunite a pair who spent 14 years playing alongside each other in Crewe's youth and first teams.
Centre-half Harry Davis, full-backs Matt Tootle and Kelvin Mellor, and forward Max Clayton are also expected to be among the names in the little black book of Premier League and Championship scouts.
Steve Davis said: "When the manager or an assistant comes to watch it's normally for a good reason.
"Villa watched Ashley away from home, went to West Ham and watched him there, we didn't even know they were interested until deadline day.
"And occasionally scouts aren't there representing a club, they are there on a freelance basis. Man United did that with Nick. They didn't always appear on the list, but they watched him for a year.
"I thought Ashley was going to Swansea, it was 4pm or 5pm on deadline day when Villa phoned up asking what we wanted, said 'here's the cash', got him down to Birmingham and that was it, deal done.
"We will see what happens now, but as yet, no-one has been in touch."