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Stoke watching Crewe midfielder Luke Murphy

Stoke City are tracking Crewe Alexandra midfielder Luke Murphy.

The Sentinel says Stoke scouts were at Crewe's Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Doncaster on Tuesday, although their most likely target Murphy was rested.

The 23-year-old is expected to be Crewe's next big-money sale after his former central midfield partner Ashley Westwood was sold to Premier League Aston Villa for £2m in August.

The Crewe academy graduate is under contract until the summer of 2014, but the Alex are bracing themselves for offers.

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