Collins Joins Long List of Could Be ‘Leavers’

January 6, 2011 by
Filed under: Transfer News 

Centre-back James Collins has become the latest Villa player to be linked away from the club in a supposed impending cull of the current squad by manager Gerard Houllier. The rumours regarding the Frenchman are somewhat surprising considering the 27-year-old is the only man of Villa’s backline yet to fall out of favour at some stage with the boss. Despite this, the likes of Stoke and Blackburn have been linked with an interest in Collins which one would normally say would be a step backward for the defender but this season has seen Villa slump to 18th place after finishing 6th in the previous 3 campaigns under Martin O’Neill. Tony Pulis, who has also recently denied a link to Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland, is supposedly a long-standing admirer of the no-nonsense centre-back but he apparently faces competition from Blackburn. Collins only joined the club at the start of last season in a deal believed to be worth around £5m but skysports sources have revealed that the player is one of those who could be offloaded under the new management. The Rovers link is an interesting one after Houllier was recently reported to following the progress of Christopher Samba after the defender handed in a transfer request under new manager Steve Kean. A swap deal had been touted to include Curtis Davies but it now seems that Kean would prefer Collins in exchange. If this is the case then the suggested £5m kicker fee to support the supposed Davies switch would surely be cut with Collins unlikely to have lost much of his £5m value after an impressive first season for the club. Would you welcome a swap deal for Samba and how much, if any would you suggest that Villa would need to fork out along with the Welshman.

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