By Danny Wright
Birmingham manager Harry Redknapp has confirmed that he is interested in signing Tommy Elphick from bitter rivals Aston Villa.
The Telegraph has previously reported that the 29-year-old senior player will be one of many players to leave Villa Park this summer after he endured a poor debut season in the West Midlands.
The Mirror has since reported that Birmingham, as well as Leeds and Sunderland, are in a race to sign Elphick, who has only signed from Brighton in a £3million deal last summer.
It now appears that Blues boss Redknapp is willing to give the centre-back another chance of making a name for himself in The Second City as he looks to add quality to his rearguard.
“I like Tommy and I followed Tommy’s career at Bournemouth. He was the captain at Bournemouth, he was a leader, he was a fantastic character for Bournemouth in their rise through the divisions,” said the former Tottenham and West Ham manager, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail.
“He was an outstanding player for Bournemouth in the Premier League so Tommy is a good player.
“If he’s available at the right price, he’s a player that would interest us – but it has to be the right price.”
Elphick was quickly banished to the fringes of the Aston Villa squad following Steve Bruce’s appointment as manager earlier this year.
The former Villa captain earned just 26 appearances across all competitions for his side, with just 11 of them coming since the start of 2017.
Football Insider Verdict
Villa need to look at selling Elphick before the summer transfer window slams shut, but they should try not to do any business with their bitter rivals Birmingham if they can help it. Villa can’t afford to help their city rivals strengthen by sending them decent players. Elphick got off to a bad start at Villa Park, but he has proven in the past that he can stand firm in the Championship. He has clearly slipped down the pecking order at Aston Villa following the signings of John Terry and Chris Samba, so it makes sense for him to leave. It’s unlikely that they could recoup the £3million invested in him last summer, but at least they can get him off their wage budget and attempt to reinvest in other areas of the squad.
In other Aston Villa news, the club are in pole position to land this Premier League attacker who is a supporter of the West Midlands side.