James Collins set for Aston Villa exit after meeting West Ham for talks

The former Hammer has been told he can leave Villa Park, but the two Premier League clubs have yet to agree a fee for 28-year-old - with Paul Lambert looking for £4m
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Aston Villa centre-back James Collins is on the brink of re-joining West Ham after being granted permission to hold talks with the Premier League new boys on Tuesday, Goal.com has learned.

The defender, who has entered the final year of his contract at Villa Park, has been told he will not be getting a new deal by the Midlands club.

Collins will thrash out terms with West Ham chiefs on Tuesday, but sources have told Goal.com that the two clubs have not yet agreed a fee for the 28-year-old.

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Villa want £4 million for Collins, who left Upton Park for the Midlands in the summer of 2009 for £5m.

However, West Ham are reluctant to meet Villa's valuation, even though manager Sam Allardyce is keen to reinforce his defence with an experienced, battle-hardened centre-back. It is understood that the Hammers are likely to pay for the Welshman with staggered payments rather than in a lump sum up front.

Collins is deemed surplus to requirements at Villa, with new manager Paul Lambert recently confirmed the signing of fellow centre-half Ron Vlaar from Feyenoord.