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Aston Villa

Villa close to Premier League defender

Villa are expected to complete a deal for Bournemouth defender Tommy Elphick by the end of the week.

According to the Express and Star, Villa are very close to completing a £3m deal for the current Bournemouth captain.

This move comes as a surprise to many, as Elphick performed well in his debut season at the top level and Villa, well, didn’t perform at the top level.

At just 28, a drop down from the Premier League seems an odd move but sources close to the club have confirmed that Elphick is likely to move to the newly relegated side.

There has been plenty of speculation about Villa defender Ciaran Clark, who scored an own goal in Ireland’s Euro opener, who has been linked with a move away.

Roberto Di Matteo sees Elphick as the perfect replacement for the powerful defender, and is now closing in on his first signing as Villa boss.

Elphick is an inch short of six foot tall, which makes him an unusual replacement for the towering Clark, but Di Matteo clearly has other ideas.

The defender played just 12 times in the Premier League last year, scoring once, and with a year left on his contract a move appears to be on the cards.

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