Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has admitted that Tommy Elphick may still leave the club this transfer window but he is ‘not actively trying to’.
The defender, now 30, only joined the Birmingham club in 2016 but has struggled for game time this season, amounting to just six appearances in all, as a cover for the crocked John Terry.
However, now that the former Chelsea legend is nearing a return to action, it is likely that the Villa man will once again be relegated to the bench.
Asked about January departures in the Birmingham Mail, Bruce said: “Tommy Elphick would have been the big one a few weeks ago, I suppose,”
“But he has put himself right back in the equation.
“I’m mindful of the fact a good pro like Tommy wants to play, so we’ll see.”
“I have no problems with not letting anyone out.
“Sometimes you have to play that game but I am not actively trying to do that at the moment.”
Villa have one of the best defensive records in the Championship, having conceded just 24-goals, they are behind only league leaders Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Bruce’s side have picked up back to back wins over the festive period, including a 5-0 hammering over fellow promotion pushers Bristol City and remain in good form to continue their pursuit for the Premier League.
Football Insider verdict:
Tommy Elphick is a seasoned pro and one that is not happy to merely sit on the bench. The 30-year-old will be aware that John Terry is nearing a comeback for the Villans after injury which means he is likely to return to his role as a bit part player. At his ripe age, he cannot afford, nor will want to sit around and therefore we cannot see any other option for the player other than to move on. The only question is to where.
In other Aston Villa news, the Whites join the battle to sign Newcastle United outcast.