Remi Garde addresses reports linking Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott with moves away from Aston Villa

Rémi Garde

Richards is reportedly a target for Sunderland, while Lescott has been linked with the LA Galaxy.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has insisted that there is “no chance” Micah Richards or Joleon Lescott could leave the club before the transfer window closes.

Sunderland were reportedly hoping to sign Richards before Monday’s 11pm deadline [h/t Daily Mail], with Sky Sports claiming that Villa had slapped a £10 million asking price on the team captain.

Lescott was also repeatedly linked with a switch to the LA Galaxy over the course of January, and despite club president Chris Klein stressing last week that a move for the veteran centre-back was “not happening”, The Mirror have suggested that the MLS side are preparing a late bid to lure him across the Atlantic.

However speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s trip to West Ham United, Garde told the likes of the club's official website that neither defender would be leaving Villa Park in the coming hours.

Asked first about Richards, the Frenchman said: “No chance [of him leaving]. We have got a small squad and Micah is a player who will play for sure for the rest of the season.

“No chance for me to allow players like that to leave.”

On Lescott, he added: “The same [as Richards]. I need them for the rest of the season. No chance to allow any of them to leave.”

Richards originally joined Villa on a free transfer last July after being released by Manchester City and has since made 20 total appearances for the club, scoring two goals.

Lescott, meanwhile, arrived from Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion a few hours before the summer transfer window closed for an initial £1 million rising to £2 million with add-ons and has gone on to feature 16 times for the claret and blues, while also netting twice.

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