Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Aston Villa agree Collins fee

Aston Villa have confirmed they have agreed a fee with West Ham for defender James Collins.

The Wales international is now discussing personal terms with the midlands club and must also complete a medical.

Villa are believed to be paying around £5million for Collins, who has also attracted interest from Stoke.

Villa's confidence in the deal going ahead is such that they have named Collins in their squad for tonight's home reserve game, ironically against the Hammers.

Collins, who has won 28 caps for his country, arrived this morning at Villa's Bodymoor Heath training ground to try to finalise his move.

The 26-year-old began has career with Cardiff, making his debut nine years ago, and he made 86 appearances for the Bluebirds before moving to Upton Park in 2005 along with his team-mate Danny Gabbidon in a £3.5million joint deal.

Collins formed an effective partnership with Anton Ferdinand in helping the Hammers defy the odds to avoid relegation during the 2006/2007 campaign.

Collins was forced onto the sidelines for nine months when he suffered a knee ligament injury in January 2008 before returning to first-team action.

Villa boss Martin O'Neill is desperate to sign experienced defenders after the retirement of skipper Martin Laursen and the sale of Zat Knight to Bolton.