By support

21st May, 2017 | 12:29pm

Fierce rivals make Aston Villa 29-year-old first summer target - reliable journalist

By Harvey Byrne

Aston Villa’s fierce rivals Birmingham have made defender Tommy Elphick their first summer target, according to a reliable journalist.

The Telegraph claimed in the week that the 29-year-old was expected to join a long list through the Villa exit doors after only signing for the club last summer in a £3million deal from Premier League side Bournemouth.

Now, after an unsuccessful debut season at the Midlands giants Sun correspondent Alan Nixon has revealed on his personal Twitter account that Harry Redknapp has made Elphick his first target.

Elphick was initially made the Aston Villa captain upon joining after showcasing his leadership ability as he helped Bournemouth win promotion to the Premier League.

However, he was stripped of the role after current manager Steve Bruce’s appointment and he has started just twice in Villa’s last 16 Championship matches of the campaign.

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Elphick does however have two years remaining on his current deal at the Midlands giants and after they splashed out a big £3million to acquire him it is likely that they will want a similar fee from Birmingham.

Blues boss Redknapp will now be scouring the transfer market this summer to ensure his side move far away from the relegation spots after finishing just two points above.

Football Insider verdict:

When Elphick first joined Aston Villa there was a lot of expectation and anticipation regarding his addition. Many believed the centre-back would finally be the leader the club was missing for the previous two campaigns. However, for whatever reason he simply has not lived up to that initial expectation and is far behind Nathan Baker and James Chester in the centre-back pecking order. Now, it is thought that Villa should cut their ties with last summer’s flop as soon as possible to get him off the wage bill and fans may not be too upset to see one of their failed signings make the short move across to their fierce rivals.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, Villa are in the running to bring this England international back to the club according to the bookmakers.

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