Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Collins moves to Stoke as deadline day heats up

Stoke signed defender Danny Collins from Sunderland for £2.75million in the main confirmed transfer of what is set to be a hectic deadline day.

The 29-year-old, whose fee could rise to £3.5million, follows Uruguayan Diego Arismendi, Robert Huth, Tuncay and Dean Whitehead into the Britannia Stadium.

Wales international Collins, who joined Sunderland in October 2004, will join fellow former Black Cats Whitehead, Liam Lawrence, Thomas Sorensen, Danny Higginbotham and Rory Delap at Stoke.

"One of the great things about this move is that I will have some familiar faces around me with so many ex-Sunderland players already here," he said.

"All this has happened so quickly because only a few weeks ago I was captaining the Sunderland side in their pre-season friendlies, but Steve Bruce made it clear he was going to bring in new faces and couldn't guarantee me a place.

"Therefore, when I was made aware of Stoke's interest, I thought it was a good time to move on and seek a fresh challenge."

Elsewhere, West Ham defender James Collins is on the verge of joining Aston Villa in a £5million deal.

Collins arrived this morning at Villa's Bodymoor Heath training ground to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms.

He looks set to join Manchester City centre-back Richard Dunne in making the switch to Villa, for a £6million transfer after the arrival of Kolo Toure from Arsenal and then Joleon Lescott from Everton to bolster City's defensive ranks.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has, though, admitted defeat in his bid to sign Sporting Gijon midfielder Michel before the transfer window closes.

McLeish had been tracking Michel, rated at £2.5million, for several weeks and was desperate to bring the playmaker to St Andrews.

But it is understood negotiations broke down because Sporting wanted a bigger downpayment than City were prepared to pay for the 23-year-old, who played in last night's 3-0 defeat by Barcelona.

McLeish said: "We couldn't get the Michel deal over the line which is a shame because I believe he is a very good player who would have enhanced our team."

Egyptian club ENPPI have announced they turned down an offer from Sunderland for 21-year-old winger Ahmed Al-Muhammadi.

Elsewhere on the rumour mill, former Preston North End striker David Nugent is reported to be back at Deepdale after failing to settle at Portsmouth.

The Fratton Park club are said to have failed in their attempt to bring Egypt striker Amr Zaki back to England after a bid for the ex-Wigan forward was rejected by his club, Zamalek.

Following the announcement of Sulaiman Al Fahim's takeover, the south-coast club have moved quickly to bolster Paul Hart's squad - with Benfica this morning confirming midfielder Hassan Yebda will spend the rest of this season on loan at Fratton Park and Aston Villa defender Nicky Shorey is expected to follow later.

Portsmouth have already signed Tommy Smith, Michael Brown, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Aruna Dindane and Jamie O'Hara all in the last week.

However, they sold captain Sylvain Distin to Everton for £5.3million, but look set to land defender Tal Ben Haim from Manchester City.

The futures of both Pompey playmaker Niko Kranjcar and England goalkeeper David James remain the subject of speculation, with Harry Redknapp said to be ready to take the pair to Tottenham.

Manchester City have been the summer's biggest spenders so far - and could be lining up a move for Spurs' out-of-favour midfielder David Bentley, who worked with Mark Hughes at Blackburn.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk