Sunderland pursuit of James Collins over after he pens West Ham contract

James Collins
James Collins
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Sunderland's hopes of signing West Ham defender James Collins are over after he agreed a new contract at Upton Park.

Collins was understood to be one of Sam Allardyce's main central defensive targets for the January transfer window after the Sunderland manager worked with the Welsh international during his tenure as West Ham boss.

The 32-year-old only had six months remaining on his Hammers contract and with Sunderland desperate for reinforcements in the heart of their defence next month, Allardyce had hoped to be reunited with the ex-Aston Villa man.

But Collins has penned a new two-year contract at West Ham, forcing Sunderland to look elsewhere for fresh blood in the heart of the back four.

Collins said: "The thought of not being involved in this club, and with the fans who I have got a special relationship with and have always been great to me, was playing on my mind.

"As soon as I knew I could get a chance, I had to perform to be involved in that, and fortunately that’s what has happened."