By 90Min
December 21, 2018

Defender James Collins physically tore up his contract with Aston Villa after suffering an injury just hours after agreeing to join the club.

The 35-year-old has been without a club since leaving West Ham United during the summer, but has been training with Championship side Aston Villa in a bid to earn himself a new contract, even impressing in a friendly against Yeovil Town.

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The Daily Mirror reveal that Collins signed a short-term £10,000-a-week contract with Villa. However, he then almost immediately suffered a calf injury during training, and returned inside to rip up his new contract.

Villa officials are said to be incredibly impressed with his refusal to be paid while injured, and the report states that he will be given the chance to earn a new contract when he returns to fitness in 2019.

The club have just two recognised centre-backs in the first-team, with James Chester and Manchester United loanee Axel Tuanzebe featuring heavily this season. Midfielder Mile Jedinak has also been used as a defender, and the hope was that Collins would add some much-needed cover in the position.

Villa do still have Micah Richards at the club, but the 30-year-old was banished from the first-team by former boss Steve Bruce as he struggled with fitness and injuries. 

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Richards' only inclusion in a matchday squad last season came in a Carabao Cup defeat to Middlesbrough in September 2017, when Richards was an unused substitute. His last competitive appearance for the club came in October 2016, with a serious knee injury sidelining him for the majority of the season.

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