Aston Villa looking at international giant as centre-back replacement

It’s understood that Aston Villa are bracing themselves for a flurry of offers for consistent centre-back James Collins and are lining up Jonas Olsson as a replacement.

The 6’6 Swedish international has been a constant feature in the West Bromwich Albion side since moving to the Baggies in 2008 from Dutch side N.E.C.

Collins was a target for several clubs over the summer, however the Villans managed to hang on to the defender for the 2011-12 season.

However, that move looks as if it could be revived as Sunderland, Stoke City and Tottenham are all understood to be mounting interest in his signature.

The Black Cats have had a long-term interest in the Welshman, whereas Stoke and Spurs are both understood to be looking at the centre-back as an option should their chase of Blackburn stalwart, Christopher Samba, come to nothing.

Olsson has featured in 18 of West Brom’s 19 Premier League matches this campaign, and would be expected to cost Villa around £2m.

This would leave the Birmingham outfit with a small amount of excess funds, as Collins wouldn’t be expected to leave the club for less than £3.5m.

New Sunderland manager, Martin O’Neill, was at the helm of Aston Villa when the side first bought Collins and seems the most likely to re-sign his former charge.

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