Medical booked: Di Matteo close to securing first signing after breakthrough - report

By Tom Blackburn 

Tommy Elphick is set to undergo an Aston Villa medical and complete a transfer from Bournemouth, according to a report.

The Bournemouth Echo claim the Midlands giants have won the race to sign the defender after having a £3million offer accepted last week for the 28-year-old Cherries captain.

It is said that Elphick has cut short his honeymoon in Italy to return to England and undergo a medical at Villa Park.

It is a boost for Di Matteo to have clinched the signing of the experienced centre-back after Championship rivals Leeds tried to hijack their move.

Bournemouth reportedly offered Elphick an extension to his existing deal at Vitality Stadium but the length of the new contract was a sticking point for the player.

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Elphick was an apprentice at Brighton and made his debut for them in 2005 before joining the Cherries in 2012.

He was hampered by an ankle injury in the recently completed domestic season and made only 14 appearances for the Premier League side.

Elphick captained Bournemouth to two promotions – from League One to the Premier League – in the space of three seasons.

In other Aston Villa news, Di Matteo is lining up a swoop for a Premier League ace as he steps up his rebuild of the relegated club.