Richards, 26, has spent the last year on loan in Italy with Fiorentina, but looks set to return to the Premier League this summer, even though his Manchester City contract will expire.
On a free transfer, the former England international will have plenty of admirers - but it seems that Aston Villa have struck a deal to sign him this summer.
The Sun believe that owner Randy Lerner has given the deal the green light, whilst The Mirror report that Richards had offers from elsewhere.
It's believed that Sherwood personally spoke to Richards and convinced him that not only would he become a key player in Aston Villa's defence, but he could also earn an England recall if he makes the move to Villa Park.
That is apparently enough for Richards to make a return to Birmingham, the city of his birth - which could also be a factor in the deal.
Would Richards be a good signing for Aston Villa?