Former West Ham United centre-back James Collins has been invited to train with the Aston Villa squad as he continues his search for a new club according to reports by Birmingham Live.

The 35-year-old Newport-born defender is without a club after being released by The Hammers in the summer, a decision which is thought to have disappointed Collins.

The player is yet to find a new club and it has been reported that Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has invited Collins to train at Bodymoor Heath in the coming weeks. Villa are believed to be in the market for a centre-back and Collins could fit the bill if he proves his quality to boss Bruce.

Collins is no stranger to Villa fans with the player having been on the books at Villa Park between September 2009 and August 2012. The defender made 108 appearances for Villa in his first stint with the club in which he scored six goals. Collins played the full 90 minutes for the club in their 2009/2010 League Cup final defeat to Manchester United at Wembley.

As well as playing for Villa, Collins has also spent time with Cardiff City where he started his career before enjoying two spells with West Ham United either side of his near-three years at Villa Park. The defender has been capped by Wales on 51 occasions and has bags of experience to bring with him back to the Midlands.

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I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook

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