THOMAS Hitzlsperger could leave West Ham for former club Aston Villa, claim reports.

The Daily Star say the midfielder could leave the Hammers for £500,000, as the club seek to trim their wage bill following relegation to the Championship.

Hitzlsperger was an instant hit among West Ham fans after making his long-awaited debut following a serious thigh injury that kept him out for almost seven months, having signed from Lazio.

He could now return to Villa Park, having made the initial switch there from Bayern Munich in 2000.