Richards, now 25, admitted earlier this season that he may have to leave the Etihad Stadium in order to find first-team football, having been on the sidelines at City for some time, with an asking price of just £8m placed on his head.
The club reportedly turned down a loan approach for the former England international on transfer deadline day last month from Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers looking to add another right back in the prolonged absence of Glen Johnson.
There are still question marks over the future of centre back Daniel Agger, whilst Kolo Toure has produced a number of recent clangers that make his long-term stability at the club somewhat doubtful, and Richards' versatility could come in handy for Rodgers.
But the Reds aren't the only team to have been linked with a swoop for Richards, as title rivals Arsenal have also been credited with an interest in the athletic defender, who has spent the majority of his career at either right back or centre back.
Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna appears to be set for the exit upon the expiration of his contract at the end of the season, whilst centre half Thomas Vermaelen could also leave the club in the summer, having fallen down the pecking order.
Richards would almost certainly be an instant starter at right back for Arsene Wenger's side, but would also offer valuable cover at centre back should Vermaelen leave or Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker suffer injury, and for £8m he could be a sensible addition for Wenger's side, with a lot of untapped potential in the defender.
Ultimately, despite Arsenal being stronger than Liverpool right now, it may actually be the Gunners that need Richards more. The future of Sagna looks murky, with Inter Milan and Galatasaray lining up moves for the French defender, and his departure would give Richards the opportunity the contribute right away, whereas a move to Liverpool would see him in direct competition with Glen Johnson, who should return from injury in the near future.
The last thing Richards needs is to leave City for first-team football, only to find himself on the bench yet again – but a move to either Arsenal or Liverpool would heavily depend on the current incumbents at right back for the respective sides.
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