Report shares what Aston Villa expect from selling ‘high level’ Steve Bruce signing this summer
Aston Villa expect to generate a ‘healthy’ transfer fee for Conor Hourihane if the midfielder leaves on a permanent deal this summer, per The Athletic.
Hourihane moved to Villa Park from Barnsley in January 2017 for £2m, as the third midfielder Steve Bruce brought in. The former Villans boss had already completed deals for Birkir Bjarnason and Henri Lansbury that month.
But while Bjarnason and Lansbury’s spells in Birmingham failed to work out, Hourihane proved a great value-for-money purchase. The Republic of Ireland maestro has offered Villa 29 goals and 23 assists in 150 games.
Hourihane spent the latter half of last season on loan with Swansea City and helped Steve Cooper’s side to reach the Championship play-off final. The 26-cap gem offered the Jacks five goals and two assists in 21 league outings.
Dean Smith was against sending Hourihane out on loan in January. The Aston Villa boss admitted, via Birmingham Live, ‘I don’t want Conor to go anywhere’, but accepted the player’s wish was to go out and get more game time.
Aston Villa now hope to cash in on Hourihane after his impressive spell at the Liberty Stadium. They expect the 30-year-old will generate a ‘healthy’ profit on the £2m paid to Barnsley should he leave, with a year left on his contract.
TBR’s view: Aston Villa will sell Hourihane this summer
Aston Villa must decide soon if they are going to look to sell Hourihane in the summer transfer window or keep him at the club. The Birmingham outfit do not have the comfort of delaying a decision, given his contract status.
Luckily, the set-piece specialist delivered impressive performances at Swansea and played a leading role in their promotion bid. That will now help Aston Villa if they decide to cash-in, as it will build interest and protect his value.
Smith can still look to offer Hourihane a new contract at Villa Park, though. He did not want to lose him in the winter, despite being far from his first choice. And his efforts at Swansea – where Cooper called him a ‘high-level player’, via the Jacks’ website – will likely have strengthened the Villans boss’ thinking.
But the more likely outcome is a sale. Hourihane admitted earlier this month, via Birmingham Live, that his future ‘probably’ is away from Aston Villa. And the club expecting a solid profit on their £2m investment suggests they agree.
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