It’s no secret that Barnsley midfielder Conor Hourihane is winging his way to Villa Park after a chase that has seemingly spanned the whole transfer window (there was even a petition by Barnsley fans to stop it, as MOMS reported two weeks ago), but there seems to have been a hike in the price. The deal was pretty much going to quadruple the player’s wage to Premier League proportions, but Barnsley pocketing only a reported one million pound seemed a bit odd in light of the the deal for Henri Lansbury costing three times as much.
Both Lansbury and Hourihane are in the final year of their contract and the Irish Independent newspaper like other media outlets are now reporting that Hourihane will now cost Villa around the £3m mark. The Barnsley’s captain’s cracking freekick against Leeds at the weekend couldn’t have come at a better time for his club as they negotiate the price with Villa.
There’s no doubt that the price along with the player accessing his options have been the main reason the deal has been a slow burner in terms of reaching completion.
Chances are the Barnsley double act of Conor Hourihane and James Bree could be unveiled today at Villa Park. After Villa owner’s ‘95%- 95%’ teaser tweet and a further cryptic tweet from Villa’s Head of Medicine and Sports Science suggesting they may have been some late medicals to attend to last night.
— Dan Donachie (@donachie_dan) January 23, 2017
Whether both players will be announced at the same time remains to be seen, but it would save the club a bit of time on the PR side of things. The double deal with Barnsley is expected to be in the region of £5m to £6m.
UPDATE – Bree will be announced today, as the Villa media team have leaked teaser pictures of the player going through his media duty on snapchat.
For a player that has supposedly a bad attitude, is out of shape and doesn’t care about training (James Chester said he was one of the trainers a few weeks ago), if reports are to be believed, there’s certainly no shortage of suitors for the Villa striker, if Bruce is looking to get rid.
Burnley, Sunderland, Brighton & Hove Albion, Derby County, Wolves, Norwich City, Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday have all been mentioned as interested. Admittedly, such reports have been mainly by various clickbait sites like the Football Insider and HITC, which football fans should know better to click on.
Ironically, there seems to be more clubs interested in McCormack now than there was in the summer before Villa bought him. Take most of them with a hearty pinch of salt.
Villa would expect to make a considerable loss on McCormack, but would anyone really shell out for him considering the current situation?
The most tedious thing about this whole McCormack episode is the usual suspect ex-player pundits that suddenly are banging on as if they know every aspect about the situation. It’s funny that when they had problems they were looking for empathy and sympathy, as opposed to knee-jerk reactions.
One thing is for sure though, McCormack is now fighting for his career.
The Birmingham Mail reckons that Aston Villa have had a £750K offer for Bury’s Jacob Bedeau rejected, while big guns local to Bury in the North West, Manchester United and Liverpool are now circling and preparing to make offers.
With the player currently 17-years-old, Villa may turn their attention to more pressing concerns (preparing a team for the now to get promoted), if the situation gets too sticky.
Is this a case of another lazy link of another ex-Hull City player under Bruce to Villa? Maybe, but the local press are suggesting that Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom could be a loan possibility for Villa.
21-year-old Akpom had played on loan at Hull under Bruce when they were in the Championship, but only scored 3 leagues in 36 appearances.
This story doesn’t make much sense, because as a loan move he should have been in at the start of the window to cover for the absence of Kodjia and Ayew.
It would only make sense as a stop-gap, if McCormack left Villa during this window.