Tommy Elphick cuts honeymoon short to sign for Aston Villa

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Tommy Elphick has confirmed he cut short his honeymoon in order to become Villa's first signing of the summer.

The 28-year-old defender yesterday completed a £3million move from Bournemouth, putting pen-to-paper on a three-year deal at Villa Park.

Elphick, who was the Cherries' club captain, described joining Villa as a 'great honour' while revealing he returned home from honeymoon in Italy five days earlier than planned in order to complete the move.

"We had five days left but, to be honest, my wife is very understanding in terms of football. It's obviously what gives us our living," said Elphick.

"When a club like Villa come calling, the least you can do is give up a few days during your honeymoon.

"Why Villa? It's as soon as you hear the name.

"There's not been many good times recently. But when you see what they have done over the summer with the new owner, new manager, I didn't take too much convincing."

Elphick, a key member of Bournemouth's 2015 Championship-winning team, is the first signing for new Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo, who is looking to plot an immediate course back to the top flight.

Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon is another target though Di Matteo, who also wants to add two new strikers, is likely to assess the squad when they return for pre-season training next week before making any more moves in the market.

Elphick, who was a firm fan favourite at Dean Court, is viewed as the ideal man to restore leadership to Villa's defence. In a statement, Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake described the centre-back as a 'model professional'.

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