The 26-year-old defender joins the club on a free transfer from Manchester City.
Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) June 17, 2015
The 26-year-old, who has 13 England caps, has agreed a four-year deal with the club and will officially move to Villa Park on 1 July after his City contract expires.
According to reports last week, Richards turned down lucrative offers from the likes of Inter Milan, Sunderland and West Ham United following successful talks with Sherwood, who is said to have earmarked his new acquisition as a potential centre-back replacement for soon-to-be free agent Ron Vlaar [h/t Guardian].
The City academy graduate made over 240 appearances for the Blues after earning his first-team debut as a 17-year-old in October 2005 and was a key member of Roberto Mancini’s 2011-12 Premier League-winning side.
However, he begun to find his opportunities limited the following term and, after featuring just 10 times during the 2013-14 campaign under current boss Manuel Pellegrini, was shipped out to Fiorentina on a season-long loan in September.
The Birmingham-born stopper could not hold down a regular place in the Serie A club’s line-up, however, making 19 total appearances, and is now heading back to the Midlands in a bid to revitalise his once-flourishing career.
Labelled a future international star after becoming the youngest defender ever to feature for England in November 2006, aged 18, Villa fans will be hoping to see some of that potential resurface over the coming seasons and, judging from the Twitter reaction, most are optimistic about his claret and blue future.
Micah Richards is a class signing. Will be at the heart of that back four for years to come hopefully! #AVFC— Jack Milward (@JackMilward) June 17, 2015
So Micah Richards is Tim Sherwood's first ever signing as a manager. He has set the bar high #avfc— Ben Nall (@BenNall79) June 17, 2015
Micah Richards is a great signing! Absolute beast #avfc— Andrew Jones. (@andrewavfc7) June 17, 2015
Micah Richards is a solid if not outright outstanding signing for villa #avfc. Hopefully a sign of progress— Marc Walpole (@Marc_Walpole) June 17, 2015
One of Sherwood's biggest strengths will be his ability to sell #avfc to players. No way Richards would have joined under previous managers— Adam Canning (@ACanning10) June 17, 2015
Great bit of business by #avfc getting Richards on a free. Fantastic acquisition— Stephen Maguire (@headofthetown) June 17, 2015
Micah Richards is only 26? Still a few prime years & a top defender on his day. Great signing for Villa. #avfc— © (@Classorla) June 17, 2015
Well happy with the signing of Micah Richards! Class player, absolute powerhouse! #AVFC— Sean Miller (@MillerAvfc) June 17, 2015
Well chuffed with the free signing of Micah Richards. Still only 26 but experienced, proven talent with desire to restart career. #avfc— Lauren Randall (@lauren1randall) June 17, 2015
Micah Richards could be one of the best bits of business this summer. And if he fails? He was a free transfer so hardly a disaster #avfc— Farlz (@Farlzzzz) June 17, 2015
Micah Richards...a huge improvement to our squad and he cost absolutely nothing. Great signing. #avfc— Mike (@1miketaylor) June 17, 2015
Brilliant news about Micah Richards, especially if it's true that he snubbed more money at Sunderland for #AVFC. Welcome to Villa.— Joshua B Longmore (@JBLongmore) June 17, 2015
Micah Richards is a very strong signing, experienced with loads of mileage left. Great start to the window #avfc— Michael Morrow (@MichaelMorrow93) June 17, 2015
Micah Richards to Villa is a decent signing for everyone involved. Gets to play in his natural position too - he was never a full back #AVFC— Geoff Atkin (@g_atkin) June 17, 2015