Collins denies Murphy move

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John Collins has dismissed claims that Hibernian defender David Murphy is on his way out of Easter Road.

The Hibs boss is insistent that he will be keeping hold of his best players despite reported interest from English clubs.

It has been rumoured that a deal has been agreed to take Murphy to West Brom - managed by former Hibs boss Tony Mowbray.

Murphy, who has previously had spells with Barnsley and Middlesbrough, has admitted he does eventually want to return to England but according to Collins no deal has been done.

"I honestly do not know where that is coming from, but I do know it's simply not true," Collins told The Scotsman on arrival back in Scotland after holding a pre-season training camp with his squad in Austria.

"There is no agreement on David Murphy, and he is working exceptionally hard alongside the rest ahead of the new season."

Shelton Martis recently left the club for The Baggies, but Collins was keen to assure the Hibs faithful that Murphy will not be making the same journey.

"We expect stories like this to come out at this time of year in particular," Collins added.

"There is not much we can do about speculation other than assure our own supporters that our focus is on having the strongest possible squad ready for the new season."

While in Austria, Collins was delighted to see his new signings Yves Makabu-Ma-Kalambay, Brian Kerr, Alan O'Brien, Clayton Donaldson and Torben Joneleit get some match action ahead of the new season.

All the new arrivals featured in Hibs' 3-2 defeat to Austrian Second Division outfit Vocklabruck on Saturday.