Former Barnsley midfielder and captain Conor Hourihane is being considered for a loan move this month, with a ‘number of clubs’ said to be interested in the Aston Villa man.

Starting out at Plymouth Argyle, Hourihane would join Barnsley ahead of the 2014/15 season and would go on to become one of the club’s main assets.

He netted 13 goals from midfield in his first season at the club and 10 in the 2015/16 promotion season, playing in every single league game both seasons bar five.

Aston Villa would make him a January addition midway through the 2016/17 season and upon helping the club to promotion to the Premier League, he’s since fallen down the pecking order.

Tweeting earlier today, journalist Pete O’Rourke gave this update:

Barnsley have this month seen Matty James recalled by Leicester City and subsequently loaned out to Coventry City. It comes as a blow to Valerien Ismael who will no doubt be looking for a central midfielder this month, and Hourihane would make for the perfect candidate.

Ismael’s side sit in 9th-place after what’s been a superb first season from the Frenchman, who took over from Gerhard Struber back in October.

Playing some exciting football and with a crop of quality youngsters coming through, Hourihane would give that extra bit of experience in the heart of the pitch that could make Barnsley top-six contenders.

He’s a player who knows the club well and who the fans will still adore. Likely open to a Championship loan move this month as well, a fleeting return to Oakwell seems to make a lot of sense.

It’d be a huge signing for Ismael, as he looks to achieve an unthinkable top-six spot in the Championship this season.

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