Aston Villa step closer to landmark signing after major development - reliable journalist
By Will Butcher
Aston Villa have received a huge boost in their pursuit of Conor Hourihane as Barnsley have lined up a replacement, according to a reliable journalist.
Now, the Sun’s transfer expert Alan Nixon revealed on his personal Twitter account that Barnsley have found a Premier League replacement, which could quicken a deal for Hourihane.
Paul Heckingbottom’s side are expected to bring the replacement in on loan if he can prove he is uninjured, which will pave the way for Hourihane to join the Midlands giants.
Hourihane has been one of the best midfielders in the Championship this season, and showed that in his last game with a wonderful free-kick against Yorkshire rivals Leeds during a 3-2 win.
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Scoring six goals during his 28 league and cup appearances this season, Hourihane has also provided a huge 13 assists for the Tykes as he continues to inspire their sparkling season.
Heckingbottom has seen his side defy pre-season expectations of relegation after gaining promotion to the Championship, as Barnsley sit in eighth and just four points off the playoffs.
Villa are crying out for a goalscoring midfielder as the likes of Ashley Westwood, Aaron Tshibola and Gary Gardner fail to provide the spark needed from midfield.
After signing Henri Lansbury from Nottingham Forest, Villa fans will be hoping the duo can form a formidable partnership from deep to propel Villa into the Championship’s top six.
Football Insider verdict:
Villa will now be able to finally concentrate on gaining a place in the play-offs, as signing Hourihane is the missing link from Steve Bruce’s squad that is currently separating them from mid-table obscurity and gaining a place in the playoffs. Barnsley had looked like they were trying to delay a deal in an attempt to keep Hourihane until the end of his contract which expires in the summer, but with the Tykes now lining up a possible Premier League replacement, it seems more than likely that Villa will be able to press on with a move for the uncapped Irishman.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, this defender has made a decision on his future in claret and blue.