Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion are looking to close a deal with Aston Villa for midfielder Conor Hourihane, the Athletic reports.
Hourihane first came to Villa from Barnsley in January 2017.
Since then, he has played 150 games for the club, scored 29 goals and helped them advance through the 2019 championship play-offs.
In the 2020/21 season, however, he struggled for regular game minutes and only played four league games before being loaned out to Swansea City.
Given the midfield performances of Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Douglas Luiz, the Irish international is unlikely to make it into Dean Smith’s starting XI next season.
The 30-year-old only has one year left on his current contract and the Villans could let him go this summer so as not to lose him for free in 12 months.
According to The Athletic, Sheffield United and West Brom are both interested in his services.
Both clubs have just been relegated from the Premier League and are hoping for an immediate return to the top division.
A player of Hourihane’s quality and level 2 experience would give those ambitions a huge boost.
New Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic apparently sees the midfielder as an alternative to Tom Cairney, who, according to reporter Darren Witcoop, is not for sale Twitter.
Jokanovic worked with Cairney at Fulham from 2015 to 2018, during which time he made it to the Premier League.
As for West Brom, they lack central midfield options with Okay Yokuslu, Rakeem Harper and Sam Field all leaving.
This makes Jake Livermore, Romaine Sawyers and new signing Alex Mowatt their only central midfielders.
You need to increase your depth in this position if you want to get back to the Premier League immediately.
Also read: Manchester City ready to trigger Aston Villa star Jack Grealish’s release clause.