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Delaney: Chelsea will only get better


Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma

Villa wait on Dunne as Collins completes move

Aston Villa have been made to wait until Wednesday to confirm the capture of Manchester City defender Richard Dunne.

Villa officially lodged the paperwork and registration documents with the Premier League ahead of Tuesday's 5pm deadline but Dunne is still locked in talks with City over outstanding monies owed on his contract.

It would seem the Premier League have accepted that the current impasse has no bearing on Villa's move for the player and is purely a matter between Dunne and his soon-to-be-former employers.

Dunne was due a testimonial at the City of Manchester Stadium next summer as he would have completed 10 years' service. But he has become surplus to requirements after a summer of spending which has seen the arrival of Joleon Lescott and Kolo Toure as first choice central defenders.

Added to that, Dunne still has three years remaining on his deal with City and as he did not had in a transfer request he is due full compensation on the deal. But it seems inevitable he will eventually pen a four-year contract at Villa Park in a £6m switch.

The 29-year-old looks set to make his Villa debut in the Second City derby with Birmingham at St Andrews on September 13.

Aston Villa did manage to complete the signing of West Ham defender James Collins. Villa are believed to be paying around £5m for Collins, who has also attracted interest from Stoke.

Collins said: "It's been a mad 24 hours since coming up here but I'm delighted to have it all sorted. I came yesterday and met the manager and had a look around. It's a fantastic setting. I just can't wait to get cracking now.

"Aston Villa is a massive club so, after coming here looking around the place and I'm friendly with a few of the boys as well, it didn't take a lot of persuading on my part.

"I loved my time at West Ham but I believe I have taken a step forward. I have come to Aston Villa to improve as a player and hopefully improve their team. I'll be looking to do that straight away.''

The 26-year-old Collins began has career with Cardiff, making his debut nine years ago, and he made 86 appearances for the Bluebirds before moving to Upton Park in 2005 along with his team-mate Danny Gabbidon in a £3.5m joint deal.

Collins formed an effective partnership with Anton Ferdinand in helping the Hammers defy the odds to avoid relegation during the 2006-07 campaign, but was forced onto the sidelines for nine months when he suffered a knee ligament injury in January 2008 before returning to first-team action.

O'Neill is desperate to sign experienced defenders after the retirement of skipper Martin Laursen and the sale of Zat Knight to Bolton as his side attempts to push for the Champions League spots again this season.


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