Belfast Telegraph

Relegated Aston Villa sign Tommy Elphick from top-flight club Bournemouth

Aston Villa have completed the signing of defender Tommy Elphick from Bournemouth, the Sky Bet Championship club have announced.

The 28-year-old becomes boss Roberto Di Matteo's first signing and has penned a three-year deal at Villa Park.

Villa revealed on their official website that Elphick had completed a medical on Monday after cutting short his honeymoon to make the move to Birmingham.

The Villans have moved quickly after new owner Tony Xia's takeover was officially completed last week following their relegation from the Premier League.

Di Matteo has targeted players with EFL experience with a revamp of the squad needed after they won just three games last season.

Elphick captained Bournemouth to the Championship title last year - after leading them to the Sky Bet League One crown in 2013 - and made 12 appearances last season as they comfortably survived in the top flight.

He spent four years with the Cherries after signing from Brighton in 2012 and played 145 games, scoring six goals.

Xia has previously said he would make between £30million and £40m available for Di Matteo to spend on new players but has since remained tight lipped on any more figures.

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