Slaven Bilic confirms he is planning contract talks with West Ham defender James Collins

West Ham United defender James Collins' contract expires in the summer.

Slaven Bilic has told West Ham United’s official website that the club will open contract talks with James Collins in the near future.

Collins’ current deal at Upton Park expires in the summer, but the Welsh defender has impressed Bilic so far this season.

Although the 33-year-old has not been a regular starter, he has proved his worth when called upon and he was in excellent form as the Hammers picked up a 0-0 draw against Swansea City last weekend.

Bilic said: “Definitely. I will do that with him [talk about a new contract].

“He wasn’t just good against Swansea. I have said a number of times, he’s a brilliant pro. He has been from day one, whether he was on the bench or just training or playing for five minutes coming or half an hour, or now 90 minutes, he’s magnificent for us.”

Collins’ future at West Ham has been in doubt, with his contract coming so close to expiring.

The commanding defender is said to be of interest to Sunderland in the January transfer window by the Sunderland Echo.

However, if he is offered a new contract, that transfer move would be in doubt if not dismissed altogether as the Hammers bid to keep their impressive squad together for the long haul.

If Collins does stick around at West Ham, his task will be to break up Angelo Ogbonna’s partnership with Winston Reid at the heart of Bilic’s side’s defence which has impressed thus far.

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