Collins returns to West Ham

West Ham announced on Wednesday that defender James Collins has returned to Upton Park on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee from Aston Villa.

Collins left West Ham three years ago to join Villa, but has now opted to return to east London.

"It's great to be back," Collins told West Ham's officials website. "Coming back and seeing some of the same old faces is great.

"As soon as I knew the interest was there from West Ham, I couldn't wait to get down and sign. I had a great affinity with the club and the fans when I was here the first time. I enjoyed my time here so much that it wasn't a hard decision to make."

The 28-year-old started 31 games for the Villains last season and has been capped 39 times by Wales during his international career.