By Dominic Toner
Aston Villa are in advanced negotiations with Barnsley for their duo Conor Hourihane and James Bree, according to a report.
Sky Sports claim that Villa are in talks with their Championship rivals over deals for midfielder Hourihane and defender Bree, with the former closer to signing.
The report details that they are both expect to cost more than £3million and that the Midlands giants are close to agreeing terms.
It is understood that the situation has been complicated by the ill-health of Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne, meaning there are still some significant details to be finalised.
Hourihane and Bree have been two key players for Barnsley this season and helped them to eight-placed in the Championship, just four points adrift of the play-off places.
The Yorkshire club were promoted from League One last season and have continued their form in England’s second-tier.
Hourihane, 25, has been Barnsley’s standout player this campaign and one of the best in the Championship.
The central midfielder has featured 28 times across all competitions, scoring six goals and supplying 13 assists.
Bree, 19, has emerged as a young star at Oakwell and been a regular feature in the club’s starting line-up.
The right-back has made 22 appearances this season for Barnsley and is tipped to become a Premier League player.
Football Insider verdict:
Villa will have achieved a great piece of business if they can wrap up deals for Barnsley pair Hourihane and Bree. The Yorkshire club have been sensational form this season and proved their qualities when they defeated high flying Leeds recently. They will both add some extra quality to the Villa squad and help Steve Bruce’s side get into the promotion race. Hourihane is an exceptional talent and the playmaker would improve Villa’s struggles in front of goal. Bree is an upcoming youngster who appears to have all the qualities of a top right-back, with a great ability to support the attack on the flank.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club are on alert as a striker has been made available to sign.