James Collins joins West Ham from Aston Villa for £2.5m


West Ham have sealed the £2.5m signing of James Collins from Aston Villa.

The 28-year-old defender, who left West Ham for Villa in September 2009, passed a medical on Tuesday and becomes Sam Allardyce’s seventh summer signing.

Collins could have left Villa Park on a free transfer next summer, but manager Paul Lambert has opted to cash in now as he looks to raise funds to rebuild his squad before the new season.

Villa are set to confirm the £3.2m signing of Ron Vlaar from Feyenoord.

The Netherlands defender has already passed a medical and is expected to become Lambert’s third signing since joining Villa last month.

It is understood that both Alan Hutton and Stephen Warnock have been told they can find new clubs.

Villa have been linked with Ipswich defender Aaron Cresswell, but the club are believed to be looking at a number of options.

After completing his return to West Ham, Collins said: “It’s great to be back. Having been here before and coming back and seeing some of the same old faces is great.

“As soon as I knew the interest was there from West Ham I couldn’t wait to get down and sign.

“I had a great affinity with the club and the fans when I was here the first time and I enjoyed my time here so much last time that it wasn’t a hard decision to make, to be honest. I’ve come back and I’m a much better player this time around so I can’t wait to get cracking and show the fans that I am a better player and can put in the performances on the pitch.

“I’ve got so many good memories – getting into the FA Cup final in my first season and finishing so high [ninth] in the league and then the way we escaped relegation that year was one of my fondest memories in football. Hopefully, I won’t have too many more memories like that!

“I just cannot wait to get back and show the fans what a better player I am now.”