Middlesbrough eye a raid on Aston Villa for 29-year-old midfield star

Middlesbrough keen on Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane

According to Teamtalk (h/t Hartlepool Mail), EFL Championship outfit Middlesbrough are eyeing a raid on Premier League club Aston Villa for midfielder Conor Hourihane.

Having come through the ranks at Sunderland, Hourihane never made it to the Black Cats’ first-team. The Irishman signed for Ipswich Town in 2011, where he lasted just a year before moving to Plymouth Argyle.

Hourihane spent three years at the club, racking up close to 150 appearances, in which he scored 14 goals. In 2017, the central midfielder made the switch to Barnsley, where he was a first-team regular for two-and-a-half years before signing for Aston Villa.

Conor Hourihane has been with Aston Villa since 2017
Conor Hourihane has been with Aston Villa since 2017

Since arriving at the Villa Park in January 2017, the 29-year-old has made 150 appearances. In the process, he has bagged 29 goals and 23 assists.

Hourihane was a key member of the team that achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2019 and was a regular member of the starting XI last season as Dean Smith’s side survived the threat of relegation.

However, in the ongoing campaign, the Republic of Ireland international has found game time hard to come by. Hourihane has made just four league appearances in 2020/21.

With him dropping down the pecking order, Aston Villa are prepared to listen to offers for him this month, thus piquing the interest of Middlesbrough. However, Neil Warnock’s side will face competition from fellow promotion hopefuls Swansea City for his signing. (h/t Hartlepool Mail)

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock

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Middlesbrough have plenty of options in midfield following the return of Jonny Howson from injury. Both Sam Morsy and George Saville have impressed this term while Lewis Wing is another option that the manager can call upon.

So a move for Hourihane might not be the most ideal for the Teessiders. On the flip side, though, his experience in a promotion-winning side could prove to be handy towards the backend of the season. So it remains to be seen if this deal sees the light of the day.

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