Middlesbrough have entered the race to secure the signing of midfielder Conor Hourihane on loan for the rest of the campaign, with Boro ready to battle Swansea City for his signature.
Hourihane is reportedly set to be allowed to leave Aston Villa on loan this month, with the 29-year-old having fallen down the pecking order at Villa Park due to the excellent form of those in front of him in the midfield area. That has seen him limited to just four Premier League appearances the last of which came against West Ham at the end of November (Sofascore).
It has been reported that Swansea are interested in adding the midfielder to their squad as they look to replace the loss of both Morgan Gibbs-White and Kasey Palmer who have returned to their respective parent clubs. That has left the Swans a little short of options in the middle of the park and they are hoping to secure a loan deal with Villa for Hourihane, per Football Insider.
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It has emerged that Middlesbrough are also interested in bringing the midfielder to the Riverside this month. Boro are thought to be wanting to move Lewis Wing on and that could free up space in the squad and on the wage bill for them to bring in Hourihane on loan for the rest of the campaign, per TEAMtalk.
Hourihane would be an excellent addition for a number of sides in the Championship this month with the 29-year-old having plenty of proven pedigree in the English second tier. The midfielder was instrumental in helping Villa earn promotion to the Premier League scoring seven goals and registering 11 assists in 43 appearances in the 2018/19 campaign (Sofascore).
He, therefore, has the qualities to provide goals and creativity from midfield which Middlesbrough have perhaps lacked at times over the last few years. Hourihane would fit in very well to Boro’s midfield and you could imagine that Neil Warnock would be able to get the very best out of him during the second half of the campaign.
It will be interesting to see whether they can convince him to join Middlesbrough ahead of Swansea. Securing his service would be a major boost for whichever of the promotion contenders can secure his signature.
Boro will believe that he can add that extra quality that is needed to ensure they do make it into the top six.