Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is watching Aston Vila' bid for Feyenoord defender Ron Vlaar.

The Daily Star Sunday says if Villa clinch a deal for the Feyenoord centre-back, James Collins could be allowed to leave the Midlands.

And that would interest O'Neill, who took Collins to Villa when he was in charge there.

The Black Cats boss has already signed one of his former Villa defenders this summer - Carlos Cuellar, who was out of contract.

Wales centre-half Collins, though, would probably command a fee of ­ £5million.