CHERRIES star Tommy Elphick’s proposed move to Aston Villa is expected to be completed early next week.

Elphick is understood to have cut short his honeymoon in Italy to return to England to undergo a medical at Villa Park.

The 28-year-old defender was given permission to speak to Villa after Cherries had accepted a bid, believed to have been in excess of £3million.

Although Cherries boss Eddie Howe offered Elphick an extension to his existing deal at Vitality Stadium, it is thought the length of the new contract was a sticking point for the player.

A hugely-popular figure with team-mates and supporters alike, Elphick is understood to have been tempted by Villa with the offer of a three-year deal.

Elphick joined Cherries from Brighton for an undisclosed fee – believed to have been around £175,000 – in August 2012 and has been instrumental in the club's rise from League One, captaining them to two promotions in three seasons.

Crowned Daily Echo-Micky Cave supporters' player of the year after helping Cherries to promotion from League One in his first season, Elphick was restricted by injury to just 12 appearances in the club’s maiden campaign in the Premier League.

He was handed the Cherries captaincy on a permanent basis towards the end of the League One promotion-winning campaign and was ever present as the club won the Championship in 2014-15.