Deal close: Aston Villa to pay £2.5m fee and £28,000-a-week wage to land 25-year-old - report
By Harry Sykes
Aston Villa are thrashing out the final details of the money they will pay to secure the signing of Conor Hourihane from Barnsley, according to a report.
The Sun claim the Midland giants are close to sealing a double deal that will take midfielder Hourihane and Oakwell teammate James Bree to Villa Park this month.
It is said that Villa have won the battle to land right-back Bree, 19, and are finalising the terms that will allow his more senior colleague, 25, to make the same journey.
The Sun report that assist king Hourihane will be paid around £28,000-a-week by Steve Bruce’s side, who also expect to finalise the fee they will pay to Barnsley at £2.5million.
Bree will cost around £3million and the duo are in line to join fellow new arrival Henri Lansbury, who arrived at the club in a £3million transfer from Nottingham Forest last week.
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The acquisition of creative midfielder Hourihane will immediately add firepower to a team that has flopped in front of goal for most of the season.
Villa have scored just 28 goals from 27 Championship matches, nearly half of the division’s top scorers Newcastle, who have netted 54 times.
Hourihane has been an integral player for eighth-placed Barnsley, scoring six goals and providing 13 assists in 28 matches.
The Irishman’s return of 12 assists from 25 league encounters is the best in the Championship this season.
Football Insider verdict:
What a signing Hourihane should be for Aston Villa, who have pulled out all the stops to win the race for the Championship assist machine. He has made the step up from League One to the second tier impressively this season, with his haul of 13 assists comfortably the best in the division and enough even to make Mesut Ozil envious. With his contract due to expire in the summer, he also has the benefit of being a bargain price. This is a great deal for Villa.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, odds have been slashed for the sensational transfer of this striker.