Aston Villa midfielder and Sheffield United loanee Conor Hourihane says his Villa career is ‘probably done’ as he nears the end of his contract.
Hourihane, 31, has spent the past season-and-a-half out on loan from parent club Aston Villa.
Last time round he spent time with Swansea City, helping them to a top-six finish in the Championship before joining Sheffield United ahead of this season.
Since, the Irishman has featured 24 times in the Championship, grabbing four assists and helping the Blades up the table and into the play-off places.
But with his Aston Villa contract expiring at the end of the season, the midfielder faces an uncertain summer ahead.
Speaking to Irish Examiner about his future, Hourihane had this to say:
“That Villa chapter is probably done. There’s been nothing, to be honest with you. No conversations there so we’ll see what happens in the summer.”
Hourihane has played an important role at Bramall Lane this season. He’s had spells in and out of the side but has certainly become more consistent under Paul Heckingbottom, who took charge earlier in the season.
“When I went on loan for the season with Sheffield United, I wanted to do well,” Hourihane continued.
“Since the new manager has come in, I felt I’ve played well under him. We had a previous relationship at Barnsley and I’ve been in the team. We’re on a good run and are up to fifth in the table.
“I’ve been quite casual about what happens at the end of the season. It’s the first time in my career, fortunately enough for me, that I’ve been out of contract.
“It’s important for me to keep playing well for Sheffield United — the same for Ireland. If I break into the team over these two games and get some minutes, we’ll see what happens come the summer.”
Could a permanent move to Sheffield United be on the cards?
There’s nothing to suggest otherwise. Hourihane has proved himself to be a useful player this season and Sheffield United have a number of players either out of contract in the summer or currently out injured, so a free transfer to Bramall Lane could be a viable option for him.
It certainly seems like his Aston Villa career is over anyway, and so Hourihane will have options in the summer. The Championship seems to be the level he’s at now and so there could be a number of clubs looking at him come the summer time, so the Blades may face some competition for the signing if they do want to make the signing, that is.
A strong finish to the season would certainly help Hourihane’s case for a move to Sheffield United, who return to action against Stoke City at the start of next month.