Aston Villa manager Dean Smith will take a further look at free agent James Collins who continues to train with the Midlands club according to Birmingham Live.

The 35-year-old Newport-born centre-back has been without a club since leaving West Ham United in the summer and was invited to train with Aston Villa by former boss Steve Bruce prior to his sacking.

Villa have since acquired the services of a new manager in the form of Smith from Sky Bet Championship rivals Brentford and it is understood that he would like to take some time to make his own assessment of Collins’ qualities.

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The player is said to have picked up a knock in training and is currently going through a short period of recovery. It is thought that Villa boss Smith would like to keep Collins at the club so that he can take some more time to consider whether he could offer a deal to the veteran defender.

Collins started his career with Cardiff City where he went on to make 86 first team appearances and scored six goals. The player has since enjoyed two spells with West Ham United either side of a three-season stay at Aston Villa where he completed over a century of outings.

The defender was part of Aston Villa sides which reached a League Cup final and the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Collins is he keen to write another chapter to his story at Villa Park.

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I am Dan Pentland a writer and reporter for The72 and Chelsea Presser websites and editor and owner of FAWSL Full-Time magazine. Regularly reporting from EFL matches, FAWSL fixtures and various internationals. Completed the 92 in 2015! Contact me on Twitter @danpentlandpcuk or via E-mail [email protected]