Aston Villa are reportedly closing in on the signing of Conor Hourihane.

According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle United have been looking at a move for Barnsley midfielder Conor Hourihane – but he’s now expected to join Aston Villa.

Hourihane, 25, has been a star for Barnsley ever since joining the club from Plymouth Argyle in the summer of 2014, as the midfielder hit a whopping 26 goals in his first two seasons with the Tykes.

Conor Hourihane celebrates scoring for Barnsley

The Irishman – who captained Barnsley to promotion from League One last season – has continued his superb performances in the Championship, as he’s notched six goals and 11 assists in the second tier.

The problem for Barnsley is that Hourihane’s contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he could walk away for free – and Championship rivals are swarming in a bid to land Hourihane this month.

Cardiff City’s Craig Noone in action with with Barnsley’s Conor Hourihane

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A report from the Daily Mail claims that Hourihane – along with Barnsley team-mate James Bree – will sign for Aston Villa in a combined deal worth £3million, though it’s stated that there is still some work to do on Hourihane.

Villa will be hoping to seal the move quickly, as it’s stated that Newcastle United have also been looking at Hourihane ahead of a possible swoop, though they’re likely to lose out to Villa.

Newcastle struggled for creativity when Jonjo Shelvey was suspended, and manager Rafael Benitez may have seen Hourihane – formerly of local rivals Sunderland – as great cover for Shelvey, especially given his contract situation at Barnsley.

If Newcastle do want to sign Hourihane, then they had better move quickly, as it seems that a move to Villa is in its final stages, and given Hourihane’s playmaking and goalscoring abilities, Newcastle consider a last-gasp hijack attempt to land Hourihane ahead of their Championship rivals.

Would you like to see Newcastle hijack Villa’s move for Hourihane?

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