Aston Villa Signs Ron Vlaar, West Ham Signs James Collins

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - OCTOBER 23: Ron Vlaar (C) trudges off the pitch with his teammates Sekou Cisse (L) and Jordy Clasie at the end of the Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord at the Amsterdam Arena on October 23, 2011 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

We've got official and nearly official confirmation on a couple of moves that have been brewing for a while today. Since this news involves transfers - and transfers of likely starters at that - everyone is sure to be excited. I'm excited. Gareth seemed excited in his email. You're here after presumably clicking on a link somewhere, so it stands to reason that you, too, are excited. On to the exciting news!

I'll switch the order up a bit, since it makes a little more logical sense that way. In our first bit of news, James Collins is now a Hammer, having accepted an offer to return to his former club West Ham United. Collins is by no means bad, but he just didn't seem to work with Richard Dunne, and it seemed logical for Villa to remove his wages from the books. Had it just been that, I imagine that most fans would have been happy.

Aston Villa: Here, we would like you to have James Collins. He's got a shiny head and two legs!

West Ham: Why, thank you.

Aston Villa Fans: Yaaayyyyy

But that isn't how it went down. Instead this happened:

Aston Villa: Here, we would like you to have James Collins. He's got a shiny head and two legs!

West Ham: Why, thank you. Also, we'd like to give you £2.5 million.

Aston Villa Fans: /slack-jawed amazement

Getting anything for Collins is simply a bonus to removing his wages. He had some good times with the club, but it was time to move on, and this is about the best possible outcome.

With Collins gone though, Villa had an open spot to plug in the defense. That's where move number 2 comes in (see, I told you it made more sense this way). The move we've known about for a while is now official, with Ron Vlaar having signed a contract to play until the end of the 2014-15 season. The Dutch international spent last year on Feyenoord who ended up taking the second position in the Eredivisie. Vlaar is the second Feyenoord player Villa have signed this summer after the earlier inking of Karim El Ahmadi.The fee for Vlaar is rumored to be £3.2 million, but when you take into account the Collins fee, it's like getting a shiny, new, exciting player for a mere £.7 million!

Add this news to the rumors of Alan Hutton heading out and all-in-all it's not a bad day for Villa, and provides more fodder for fans to be excited about the coming season.

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