Aston Villa’s January signing Conor Hourihane came close to joining Nottingham Forest during the transfer window, according to a report from the Guardian.

Hourihane, who joined the club from Barnsley was a target for a host of clubs in the Championship after a brilliant start to the season.

Owner and chairman of Nottingham Forest Fawaz al-Hasawi is trying to sell the club and had previously come close to agreeing on a deal with American businessmen John Moores and Charles Noell before a deal fell through.

Between the two, they had a plan in place to bring in now Derby County manager Gary Rowett to take over at the club.

The party had hoped to get a deal for Hourihane over the line in time to be their first signing at the club.

The former Plymouth Argyle midfielder would go on to join Villa on a three-and-a-half year deal towards the end of the January window. Moores and Noel had also lined up former Tottenham head of recruitment Paul Mitchell.