Ipswich’s potential Collins move ‘dead and buried’ as Welshman prepares to sign elsewhere

Former West Ham defender James Collins had been training with Ipswich Town. Photo: PA

Former West Ham defender James Collins had been training with Ipswich Town. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Ipswich Town’s potential move for free agent central defender James Collins is ‘dead and buried now’ according to manager Paul Hurst.

The former West Ham man, also said to be a target of Aston Villa and Stoke, trained with Ipswich during the international break but suffered a hamstring injury and required treatment.

Speaking last week, Hurst said he believed the deal could still happen but has now been informed by the 35-year-old that the move is now no longer a possibility with the Welshman set to move elsewhere.

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“I’ve been made aware he won’t be signing for Ipswich Town – I’m surprised we’ve not seen anything in the press in some shape or form. I had a message from James and that deal is dead and buried now.

“I made no secret of the fact we wanted to do something there but I stand by the fact he wasn’t fit at the time. That was what was best for the football club.

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“But if what I’m led to believe is happening, is happening then I wish him well. He was here and genuinely did enjoy his time here.”

When asked if Ipswich had made Collins an offer, Hurst replied: “The offer was common knowledge between parties and it was more about being fit.

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“In between another club showed interest. It won’t be long, I won’t imagine.”

Hurst has Luke Chambers, Matthew Pennington and Toto Nsiala at his disposal in the centre of defence, with the latter now available again after suspension. That leaves Hurst with a big decision to make for Saturday’s game with Bolton.

“Thankfully we’ve got three lads and a big decision to make, which adding another one would have made even more difficult,” he said.

“If they all stay fit then we haven’t got a problem.”

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