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Dean Smith offers update on James Collins' situation

Dean Smith head coach of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Birmingham City at Villa Park on November 25, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa are still considering defender James Collins.

Dean Smith head coach of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Birmingham City at Villa Park on November 25, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has told the club's official YouTube channel that James Collins will continue to train with the club despite rumours that he had agreed a contract.

Villa beat Middlesbrough 3-0 on Saturday afternoon, posting a clean sheet just days after a stunning 5-5 draw at home to Nottingham Forest.

Despite that result, Villa's defensive options still look weak, as there is little to no cover behind defenders Axel Tuanzebe and James Chester in the heart of the Villa back line.

 

Having failed to replace John Terry over the summer, former Villa boss brought free agent Collins in on trial in order to give him a chance to win a contract.

More than two months on from Bruce's exit, Collins is still training with Villa, and the Daily Mail reported on Friday that he was all set to pen a five-week contract to re-sign for Villa, more than six years since leaving for West Ham.

The 35-year-old would be a smart addition over the busy Christmas period, but it seems that no deal has been done just yet.

James Collins #19 of West Ham United drinks water during practice on March 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida.

Smith has revealed that Collins is still only training with Villa and will continue to do so until Smith feels that he is ready to sign a deal and play in the Championship, meaning the Welshman faces a wait.

“He’s still training with us," said Smith. “He’s not had the match exposure that I would want. He’ll continue to train with us until I feel he’s up to the standard where we can make a decision one way or the other,” he added.

James Collins of West Ham United during the Carabao Cup quarter final match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on December 19, 2017 in London, England.

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