EXCLUSIVE: Boro rival Swansea to sign classy Aston Villa star

Middlesbrough have joined Swansea City in the race to land Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane, TEAMtalk can reveal.

The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international is only on the fringes of the Dean Smith’s squad.

Indeed, he has made only four appearances for the Villans in the Premier League so far this season. Hourihane is attracting interest from the Championship.

As such, we can reveal Villa are willing to let him go and he’s ready to talk to interested parties.

Promotion-chasing Swansea are hopeful of a deal and currently lead the chase. However, our sources have informed us that Boro have also made an approach too. Neil Warnock is looking to bolster his squad ahead of a push for the Premier League too.

We understand Middlesbrough are also looking to move Lewis Wing on this month. That would help with the finances for other prospective signings such as Hourihane.

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Everton, Newcastle keen on Boro star

Everton and Newcastle United still hold an interest in Middlesbrough defender Djed Spence and are monitoring his progress.

Djed Spence TEAMtalk

TEAMtalk exclusively revealed back in November that a number of Premier League clubs had taken notice of the young full-back.

Wolves were the other club credited with an interest last year. And it seems they, along with Crystal Palace, might still throw their hat into the ring.

Boro do not want to sell the London-born right-back, who is a firm favourite with boss Neil Warnock. The veteran tactician compared him to Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold last year.

That is high praise and the reason why top-flight clubs are circling the Riverside.

Spence has featured reguarly for Boro this term, starting 12 times, scoring once and stepping off the bench in another nine.