Football

Aston Villa At The Centre Of Potential Irish Transfer Merry-Go-Round

Aston Villa At The Centre Of Potential Irish Transfer Merry-Go-Round

Aston Villa are interested in signing Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long on loan from Southampton.

Villa are keen to add striking reinforcements before the close of the loan window on August 31st, with Chelsea's Tammy Abraham also said to be on their list of potential targets.

With time in the window running out, according to the Birmingham Mail, they have now turned their attention to the 30-year old Ireland international.

Southampton have boosted their forward options during the summer transfer window with the arrival of Danny Ings from Liverpool, with Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini also still at the club.

Having found himself left out of the matchday squad for the Premier League's opening weekend, Long played for 30 minutes off the bench during the 2-1 loss at Everton last weekend.

His lack of goals has been much publicised in the media, and a move to the Championship may allow him to rediscover his finishing touch.

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Should Long arrive at Villa Park, Scott Hogan may be allowed to leave the club. The Sun reports that Sheffield United are looking at the possibility of loaning the 26-year-old.

The Aston Villa man has yet to make an appearance this season, as he is still recovering from an injury setback suffered in pre-season.

Hogan made his Ireland debut in the 1-0 defeat to Turkey in March.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has made it clear his side are willing to cover all of Hogan's £35,000 per week salary, which would make him the club's highest earner.

The Yorkshire club finished 10th in the Championship last season, and have six points on the board after their opening four games this term.

Wilder is one of the most highly rated up and coming managers in the English game, having guided Sheffield United to the League One title in his first season in charge and leading them on a Premier League promotion push  last season.

Should Long and Hogan complete their moves, we could see Irish men leading the line for two of the Championship's promotion hopefuls.

SEE ALSO: Reports: Stephen Ireland Linked With Move To Bundesliga

Gary Connaughton

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