Richards Prepares For Etihad Departure

By on April 13, 2014

Micah Richards has alerted a host of clubs to his availability by reportedly telling Manchester City he won’t be signing a new contract at the Etihad Stadium and will instead look to leave the club this summer. The versatile defender has been at the club since signing for them as a 14-year old before coming through the ranks and going on to make nearly 250 appearances for the club.

Despite establishing himself as a key part of the City side since making his first team debut in 2005, Richards has slipped down the pecking order under Manuel Pellegrini and has been told by the Chilean that regular first team football won’t be guaranteed if he signs the new contract he was offered last year. The 25-year old is nearing the final 12 months of his current deal at the Etihad and City may now look to cash in on the defender rather than lose him for free next year.

A lack of playing time has been a major factor behind Richards’ failing to add a number of caps to the 13 he won during the early stages of his career, and there are still a large number who believe the City defender should be on the plane to Brazil this summer despite making just a handful of appearances this season.

City certainly won’t be short of offers for Richards this summer, with a host of Premier League and European clubs all in the betting running to sign the City man. Capable of playing in the centre of defence or as a right back, Richards’ versatility and experience make him a very useful player to have in the squad, and it’s no surprise to see a host of clubs already linked with the defender despite his recent injury problems.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, Tottenham and West Ham have all been linked with a move for Richards, but there are some tempting offers from abroad reportedly on the table for him should he decide to leave England. Liverpool’s return to European football’s top table will definitely make them more appealing than before, and the short move to Anfield wouldn’t bring about the dramatic upheaval a move to London or abroad would to Richard’s personal life.

As well as interest from France, Spain and Germany, AC Milan are perhaps the highest profile club rumoured to be in the race for Richards signature. The Italian giants are nearing the end of a dismal Serie A season and are preparing for a complete overhaul of both coaching and playing staff this summer.

Reportedly high on Milan’s shopping list is Richards, who was also tracked by the Italian club last season after the Englishman fell behind Pablo Zabaleta as City’s first choice right back. While a move to the San Siro would no doubt be tempting for Richards, a number of other clubs would be able to offer the Champions League football Milan currently can’t.

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