Transfer Gossip (Thursday): Hourihane exit to Villa completed | Three-way battle for Hull's £10m Snodgrass | Leeds close to signings

BARNSLEY captain Conor Hourihane completed his expected move to Aston Villa today.


The Irishman ended considerable speculation regarding his future by joining Villa and linking up with Reds team-mate James Bree, who completed his switch yesterday to Villa Park.

Rumours had surfaced that Crystal Palace were aiming to hijack Villa’s move, but Hourihane passed a medical following delays in getting the deal over the line and his movewas completed today.

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“I will always be grateful to everyone at Barnsley for what they have allowed me to achieve,” said Hourihane.

“In a footballers’ career, it’s not often that you get the chance to work with a club that is willing to passionately dedicate so much time and effort to improving and developing players, so I feel very lucky to have enjoyed two-and-a-half years at this great club.”

Reds head coach Paul Heckingbottom, who has brought in Leicester’s Matty James to help mitigate for Hourihane’s loss, is working on several other incoming deals, with Liverpool starlet Connor Randall linked, along with St Mirren midfielder Stevie Mallan.

Meanwhile, the future of Marley Watkins, who has reportedly tabled a transfer request, could become clearer in the next few days, with a number of clubs chasing the forward, including Ipswich Town and Bristol City.

West Ham United have had a £10 million offer for in-demand Hull City midfielder Robert Snodgrass accepted, with the Londoners in a three-horse race with Middlesbrough and Burnley to sign the Scot.

The Hammers have matched rival offers from Boro and the Clarets, with Hull ideally hoping to sanction a deal with either Burnley or West Ham, due to their preferred wish not to sell to a relegation rival in Boro.

Garry Monk is confident of securing new signings at Leeds United over the “next few days”.

Monk has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his promotion-chasing side in January and has previously highlighted Leeds’ thin squad as a cause for concern.

Leeds’ only deal so far this month saw winger Pablo Hernandez extend his initial loan spell into a permanent contract that expires at the end of the season.

Players on the club’s radar include West Ham forward Ashley Fletcher and Norwich winger Sergio Canos.

Millwall made a late move to sign former Bradford City striker James Hanson ahead of his move to Sheffield United.

The Lions were willing to match the Blades’ offer for Hanson but his heart was already set on a move to Chris Wilder’s side.

Middlesbrough have reiterated that Jordan Rhodes can leave the club, but only if the price is right.

Boro will allow the former Blackburn striker to leave following the arrival of Rudy Gestede and Patrick Bamford, but they have so far fielded no acceptable bids.

Aitor Karanka revealed at his press conference ahead of the West Ham game last week that two Championship clubs had tabled bids for Rhodes, who joined Boro in a £9m move on the final day of the 2016 winter window.

One of those clubs was Aston Villa with Sheffield Wednesday also reportedly keen on the striker.

Rotherham United are waiting to hear back from respective clubs after tabling three offers for players.

One reported target is Grimsby frontman Omar Bogle, with the Millers also keen on another League Two frontman.

Young Sheffield Wednesday striker George Hirst is a target for Everton and according to reports on Merseyside, the Blues are keen to push through a deal before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

Everton have added two new faces to their squad so far this month, midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and highly-rated forward Ademola Lookman.