The 25-year-old is one of the most talented right backs and general defenders in the country and he’s now put Manchester City under huge pressure in terms of his future after reportedly rejecting a new contract with the club.
His current deal expires in the summer of 2015, which means city now have to go back to the drawing board and improve their offer or consider selling him in the transfer window this summer.
If the situation between Richards and City becomes untenable then it makes sense for the North West club to sell him now, when they can get the biggest fee for him.
If he does become available, here are the five clubs who could end up fighting for him.
The Gunners seem to be looking for defensive reinforcements at the moment and Richards provides a much more stable option than some of the young French players the club have been linked with.
There is also a clear need for Richards in the Arsenal back four because he can provide competition at right back with Bacary Sagna and he would also give Arsene Wenger an option on the right side of central defence.
Villa should be looking to inject a little extra experience and quality into their defence after a season last year which saw them narrowly fend off relegation.
Richards is still young enough to tie in with Paul Lambert’s ethos of using younger players but his career with Manchester City and England means he brings that extra level to the table, which will help the side next season.
Everton’s central defensive pairing of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin is not getting any younger and Richards could be a good fit to replace either of them in the back four.
He’d also provide a good option for Roberto Martinez at right back who would more than likely encourage him to follow the example of Leighton Baines in terms of getting forward, providing support and an extra dimension to the club’s attacking play.
Richards was touted as a possible buy for Liverpool over the final part of last season. He fits into line of how Liverpool are going about their current transfer business; buying young, investing and planning for the future.
Richards would be very valuable to Liverpool because he’d provide another youthful option in the back four, competing for a place alongside the likes of Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure.
The departure of William Gallas has created a hole in the Spurs defence which Richards is good enough to fill.
The only problem with Tottenham as a potential choice is the fact that Kyle Walker has nailed down the right back slot, meaning Richards would have to convert himself into an out and out centre half in order to get regular games.
Which side do you think he’d join? Do you think he’ll eventually sign a new deal with City?
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