Dean Smith is looking to make his first signing as the new manager of Championship side Aston Villa, and could look to the free agent market to bring former West Ham United defender James Collins to Villa Park, Birmingham Live have revealed.
Former Villa manager Steve Bruce was close to bringing in Welsh defender Collins to Villa Park before he was sacked, but the defender could still be set to return to Villa Park after leaving for West Ham United six years ago.
The Welshman has spent the last week training with Aston Villa, as he looks to return to full fitness after a hamstring problem, before returning to football.
Dean Smith is set to watch the defender closely before making the defender an offer to join his side on a permanent basis, but he will have to prove himself to Aston Villa’s new coaching team of Smith, John Terry and Richard O’Kelly before joining Villa.
Villa are in need of defensive reinforcements, with fellow Welshman James Chester the only natural senior centre back at Villa Park. Mile Jedinak, James Bree and Axel Tuanzebe have all been filling in at centre back in the absence of enough central defenders, and Collins would be a valuable signing for Smith to make, as he looks to help his Villa side back up the Championship table to help them to promotion.