Aston Villa given huge boost in pursuit of Championship assist king - report
By Harvey Byrne
Aston Villa have received a huge boost in their pursuit to sign Sheffield Wednesday target and Barnsley midfielder Conor Hourihane, according to a report.
News outlet HITC have claimed that the 25-year-old is hoping for a move to Villa Park, despite interest from elsewhere.
The Birmingham Mail reported on Tuesday that Barnsley had rejected a £1.25million bid from Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday for their player.
However, it is stated by HITC that Villa now believe they lead the charge to win his signature, with the Irishman keen to reunite with boss Steve Bruce.
The experienced manager worked with Hourihane at Sunderland and despite not making an appearance for the Black Cats it is believed the player is keen to link-up once again with Bruce.
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Hourihane has been a key part of a successful Barnsley side this campaign, starring in 27 encounters with a return of five goals.
He has also earned the reputation of being an assist king with 13 set-ups from his appearances this season.
But, the player could still prove hard to obtain and it is claimed by HITC that the Tykes are reluctant to lose Hourihane despite the prospect of losing him for nothing in the summer.
Football Insider verdict:
This latest development will come as a huge boost to Aston Villa, as on Tuesday it looked like they may lost out on the player to Sheffield Wednesday. The Yorkshire club are currently sat in the play-offs and seven places and 10 points about Bruce’s side. However, the manager and the club’s reputation is looking to prove vital for this target. Hourihane is a quality Championship player and at the age of 25 he hasn’t yet reached his peak. Meanwhile, Villa are also struggling in the centre of the park and the addition of the assist expert could prove the difference between mid-table and the play-offs.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club are eyeing a move for this international ace priced at £10million.