The only reason people mentioned Micah Richards this summer was his inclusion as one of the three over-age players on the British team to the Olympic Games football tournament, but now he’s part of the summer rumor mill, with Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho chasing the Manchester City and England right back.
Richards did play in 29 matches for City last season, but later in the season lost his place in the starting lineup in favor of Pablo Zabaleta, most notably in the final match against QPR, in which Zabaleta scored the opening goal. He was also left out of the squad to Euro 2012 by Roy Hodgson, who preferred Phil Jones to the final spot on the roster left for a defensive player. Richard refused to be on the standby list for the tournament as well.
Although Roberto Mancini does like Richards and his ability as a full back or even a centre back when necessary, he’s probably willing to let go of the 24 year old if the right offer came along, something along the lines of £20 million. Apparently, Real Madrid, looking for a man on the defensive flanks themselves, have developed quite an interest in the English international, especially with the Maicon deal currently stuck.
According to some reports, Mourinho already tried signing Richards during his days as a Chelsea manager, and would like to see him in the Madrid all-white. Richards signed not too long ago a deal that keeps him with Manchester City until 2015, earning £70,000 per week.
Richards has been with Manchester City since 2001, joining their youth ranks when he was 13, rising to the senior level in 2005. Since then he’s been an on again/off again starting player, making 170 Premier League appearances for the club, winning the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title in 2012.
Real Madrid are looking to upgrade their defense but especially their right side, not too happy with Alvaro Arbeloa’s performances over the last season, hoping that a young man like Richards, who doesn’t possess the attacking prowess and especially the shooting ability of Maicon, might be a more sound option both defensively and as an investment towards the future. Still, £20 million seems like an awful lot of money for a player who isn’t even a full time starter at his own club.