Aston Villa heavily backed to sign Micah Richards despite Newcastle links

Micah Richards

The former Manchester City defender has been linked with the likes of Newcastle, West Ham and Liverpool recently.

Released Manchester City defender Micah Richards is a surprise candidate for a switch to Aston Villa, if the betting markets are to believed.

A wide number of clubs have been linked with the former Oldham trainee in recent months, as varied as Liverpool, West Ham and Borussia Dortmund according to this Mail report earlier in the season, and Newcastle recently by the Star.

But Sky Bet have revealed that there has been a huge surge in bets being placed on Richards joining up with Aston Villa this summer, following his release from Manchester City.

Having been 10/1 to sign the player, there have been a flurry of bets on Thursday, with Sky suspending betting with odds as short as 1/2.

Whether this is based on anything more than a rumour infiltrating the betting market remains to be seen, but on the face of it, a Villa move for Richards makes a lot of sense.

He has also been linked with joining up with Steve McClaren at St James's Park by the Star, the former England boss giving Richards the majority of his caps for the Three Lions.

The powerful 26-year-old had been on loan with Fiorentina last season, but was unable to earn the regular football he had been struggling for in recent seasons at the Etihad. Richards featured just 19 times for the Viola, with only 10 of those games coming in Serie A.

The defender, who has won 13 caps for England but not featured since 2012, would certainly be a promising signing for Tim Sherwood's side if they were to bring him in.

He is very much of an age where he can still go on and have a top career, and his near 250 appearance for City means he has plenty of Premier League experience to go with his two league title medals.

Uncertainty at both right back and centre back for Villa also make him a very attractive acquisition - if those seemingly in the know are indeed, possessing information about Richards' future that others don't have.

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