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Rangers midfield target tracked by Celtic now subject of Aston Villa bid

Reportedly Mark Warburton's priority signing for the summer, it looks like there'll be serious competition.

Barnsley v Northampton Town - EFL Cup Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Rangers will have to face a three-way fight against Celtic and Aston Villa to land their priority midfield target Conor Hourihane in the summer, according to the Daily Mirror. The midlands Championship outfit are believed to be readying a move to seal the deal in the January transfer window.

Hourihane, who has been a star performer for Barnsley, will see his contract expire in the summer, and Barnsley may look to make a quick sale to Villa in order to get some money for their captain. A move by Rangers or Celtic would see the clubs pay a very small compensation fee.

Whether Hourihane decides that Villa are the best club for him remains to be seen, of course, and Rangers are still likely to be determined to get their man in the summer. It looks as though that could be a wee bit trickier than it was before, though, with the club unlikely to compete with Villa to make the signing in this window.