Villa seal Collins deal

Villa seal Collins deal

Aston Villa have completed the signing of West Ham defender James Collins, on a four-year contract.

The Welsh international put pen to paper with Villa after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground today.

Villa are believed to be paying around £5m for Collins, who had recently also attracted interest from Stoke.

He is set to make his Villa debut in the Second City derby with Birmingham at St. Andrews on September 13.

It takes Villa boss Martin O’Neill’s spending for the summer to £33m - and the figure could rise to nearly £40m if Richard Dunne completes his £6m switch from Manchester City.

Collins, capped 28 times by his country, launched his career with Cardiff and made 86 appearances for the Bluebirds.

He moved to Upton Park in 2005 along with his team-mate Danny Gabbidon in a £3.5m joint deal.

The 26-year-old formed an effective partnership with Anton Ferdinand in helping the Hammers avoid relegation defy the odds to avoid relegation during the 2006-07 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.

O’Neill has been desperate to sign experienced defenders after the retirement of skipper Martin Laursen and the sale of Zat Knight to Bolton.

Villa agreed a fee before the weekend for Dunne, who had three years remaining of his contract at Eastlands.

But the move was delayed while negotiating the size of the pay-off he received from City.

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