NEWPORT County AFC academy graduate Aaron Collins will spend next season on loan at the Exiles’ League Two rivals Colchester United.

The 21-year-old forward will spent 2018/19 with the U’s after being sent out for more experience by Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Collins broke into the County first team in 2014 and made 20 appearances before joining Wolves in January, 2016.

After going out on loan to Notts County, Tranmere and Maidstone, the prospect returned to County in January and made 10 outings to help Michael Flynn’s side finish 11th.

He will now go up against his former teammates in the colours of Colchester, who have also been linked with a move for Frank Nouble.

The 26-year-old has been in discussions about a fresh contract with the Exiles after arriving last summer on a one-year deal.

The former West Ham forward scored 10 goals in all competitions and was a regular in boss Michael Flynn’s side, playing in 45 games.

Negotiations started between the parties at the end of the season and Nouble said in May that he wanted to stay in Newport.

“I’ve enjoyed my year so if I’m here again I’ll be delighted,” he said. “I see a few of the boys have already signed and I think there’s a couple of other players who are out of contract.

“Obviously I’ll be on that list but we’re talking with the club and hopefully something will get sorted out. I’m pretty sure something will be sorted out very soon.

“I think it’s best for everyone and I don’t want to have a long summer thinking about where I’m going to be or where I’m going to go.”

The Exiles entered talks with Nouble, injured captain Joss Labadie and midfielder Ben Tozer, but the versatile Tozer rejected a deal to sign for League Two rivals Cheltenham Town.

County return for pre-season training soon ahead of their first friendly against Bristol City, likely to be at Newport Stadium rather than Rodney Parade, on Wednesday, July 11.

Flynn currently has 14 players signed up for next season – Joe Day, David Pipe, Dan Butler, Mark O’Brien, Mickey Demetriou, Scot Bennett, Jay Foulston, Matty Dolan, Robbie Willmott, Josh Sheehan, Tom Owen-Evans, Lamar Reynolds, Padraig Amond and Momodou Touray.