Irish midfielder Conor Hourihane has completed his move from Barnsley to Aston Villa.
The 25-year-old had been the subject of strong interest from a number of Championship sides following a strong half-season with the Tykes’ playoff push, and Villa have won the race for his signature.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) January 26, 2017
Hourihane has signed a three-and-a-half year deal at Villa Park, in a fee that is undisclosed officially but is believed to be in the region of £3m.
Speaking to the Aston Villa website about his move, the former Ireland under-21 international expressed his excitement to be working with manager Steve Bruce while also paying tribute to former club Barnsley:
“I’m really pleased to be here.
“Aston Villa are a massive club and I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my career and developing further as a player under Steve Bruce.
“I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone connected to Barnsley Football Club; from the owner, to the Head Coach, the backroom staff, and of course to the supporters who have been amazing to me throughout my time at Oakwell.”
Indeed, the feeling with Barnsley is mutual, as the club has since released a video in tribute to their now-former captain after two-and-a-half years of service at Oakwell:
Hourihane’s move completes a busy 24 hours of business from Villa and owner Tony Xia. Fellow ex-Barnsley player James Bree joined on Wednesday, as did Icelandic international midfielder Birkir Bjarnason.
Bruce’s side currently sit in 13th place in the Championship table, nine points off a playoff spot but Bruce is determined to get the side back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
A deal to bring Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom in on loan until the end of the season could still be on the cards, but they face a race against time to get any more deals over the line before the transfer window closes next week.