Sport Birmingham leading the race for Villa's Tommy Elphick

23:50  17 july  2017
23:50  17 july  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Sunderland are keeping an eye on Villa defender

  Sunderland are keeping an eye on Villa defender According to the Birmingham Mail, Sunderland are keen on buying Tommy Elphick from Aston Villa as they look to rebuild their side for life in the Championship. Elphick hasn’t feature for Villa during their last three pre-season friendlies as he is thought to be carrying a slight niggle. However, he still trained with Villa when they were over in Portugal last week, and he has been reporting to Bodymoor Heath every morning since. The former Brighton and Bournemouth defender signed for Villa last season when Roberto Di Matteo was in charge. However, due to injuries and a lack of form, he hasn’t been able to cement his place in the starting XI. Now, with Terry having signed, it looks likely that he will have to move elsewhere to get regular football. It’s understood that the Black Cats see Elphick as the perfect replacement for Lamine Kone, who they are willing to sell for around £8 million this summer. However, Leeds and Birmingham City are also interested in acquiring the 29-year-old’s signature.

Tommy Elphick of Aston Villa before the game. The former Brighton man has been linked to Birmingham City and other clubs in the division are tracking him Elphick leads by keeping the game simple and being an assured passer, while winning knockdowns under pressure in his own box.

Birmingham City are reportedly keen on Aston Villa defender Tommy Elphick . Earlier this week, The Mirror reported that Birmingham City boss Harry Redknapp is lining up a shock raid on city rivals Aston Villa to sign defender Tommy Elphick .

Aston Villa’s arch-rivals Birmingham City are reportedly leading the race to sign centre-back Tommy Elphick, according to the Birmingham Mail.

There is also reported interest from Leeds United as well as relegated Premier League side Sunderland. But it appears that Blues’ boss Harry Redknapp, who has been eyeing the defender for a while, is now in pole position.

Elphick, previously of top-flight side AFC Bournemouth, has fallen out of favour under Villa boss Steve Bruce, despite having begun the 2016/17 campaign as skipper under Roberto Di Matteo.

Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport © Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport

Birmingham are keen to make Elphick their fourth summer signing, following the arrivals of goalkeeper David Stockdale, defender Marc Roberts and midfielder  Cheikh N’Doye at St Andrew’s.

Villa considering swoop for Zambian midfielder

  Villa considering swoop for Zambian midfielder According to a report in the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa and Birmingham City are both interested in signing in former Villareal and Atletico Madrid midfielder Gabriel Kunda Jr. The 24-year-old Zambian can play in the center of the park as well as in a more attacking role on the right-hand side. Injuries and disciplinary issues prevented him from prospering at Atletico Madrid, and a promising spell at Real Zaragoza saw him given the opportunity to sign for AS Monaco, PSV, and Villareal – he chose the latter. However, he was unable to fulfill his promise at the Spanish club, and he made no appearances for the senior side. He might now be given the opportunity to resurrect his career with a move to Birmingham. He is clearly a talented player, but he needs to sort his attitude out because he is at a time in his career where he needs to be playing regular football. With games coming thick and fast throughout the Championship season, he will be given the chance to show everyone what he is made of.

Aston Villa announce signing on Bournemouth defender Tommy Elphick . 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 .

BIRMINGHAM , ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Tommy Elphick of Aston Villa in action during an Aston Villa training session at the club' s training ground at Bodymoor Heath on December 16, 2016 in Birmingham , England.

Steve Bruce is reportedly eyeing a deal for former QPR defender Chris Samba, in which he will use the money freed up by Elphick’s departure. The Congolese centre-back has been training with Aston Villa, and has impressed Bruce and the Villa squad.

Tommy Elphick made 26 appearances for Villa last season, and has two years left on his current deal.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship © Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship

Bruce provides update on Kodjia's injury .
Steve Bruce, according to a report published in the Birmingham Mail, has revealed that Jonathan Kodjia is stepping up his recovery in Clairefontaine ahead of returning to Villa later this month. The Ivory Coast international, who scored 19 goals last season, suffered a broken ankle against Blackburn in the second last game of the season, which he underwent surgery for at the beginning of May. It was initially feared that the striker could be out for six months as medics warned that he would not be able to return to training for at least three months. However, he is now being put through his paces in the country he is born. Bruce, when asked about Kodjia’s progess, declared: ““He’s 11 weeks in now and he’s working away in Clairefontaine and the reports back are very, very good. We expect to see him back in England on the 20th of this month so we’re hoping then with another two or three weeks training after that he’s there or thereabouts and we’re delighted with the progress we can report.”” Despite the initial thought being that Kodjia would miss a chunk of the start of the season, it now seems that he will be back for Villa’s early fixtures.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!