SUNDERLAND and Newcastle transfer target James Collins has today been linked with a move to Queens Park Rangers.
The Aston Villa defender has been the subject of transfer speculation since Martin O’ Neill’s arrival at Sunderland but now looks to be on his way to London.
QPR are rumoured to have offered £3m for the 28-year-old Welsh international, who joined Aston Villa for £5m in 2009 under O’Neill.
A move to Loftus Road would see Collins reunited with ex- West Ham team mates Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon.
Sunderland, however, currently have a minor defensive crisis with Titus Bramble, Wes Brown, Phil Bardsley and Michael Turner all sidelined.
This could force O’Neill to add depth to his squad by continuing his chase for Collins.
The Black Cats have already been active in the January transfer window, offloading reserve defenders Blair Adams and John Egan to Northampton and Crystal Palace respectively on month-long loans.
Adams, who was on loan at Brentford earlier in the season, has yet to break into the Sunderland first team, despite being named on the bench a handful of times.
O’Neill will be keen to limit any first-team departures throughout January with the news Liverpool have reportedly joined the race to sign Stephane Sessegnon.
The Benin international is apparently unsettled in the North East, and French clubs Paris St Germain and Marseille are already chasing the 27-year-old.