Manchester City are hoping to fend off interest from Chelsea and Arsenal in an effort to keep Micah Richards at the club.
The Daily Express claims new Citizens chief Manuel Pellegrini will tell the England full-back that he’s part of the first team plans at the Etihad Stadium and will feature more than he did under Roberto Mancini.
Richards joined Manchester City back in 2001, and graduated to the first-team four years later. But, under the old Italian manager, his opportunities fell following injury and the impressive rise of Pablo Zabaletta.
It’s led to speculation that the 25-year-old could leave the club this summer, with the Blues, Gunners and Liverpool all credited with an interest in England. AC Milan, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich are also keen to take the player abroad, the paper claims.
Jose Mourinho wants to keep the player in the Premier League at least, with ‘the special one’ ready to make a move to bring Richards to Stamford Bridge.
The versatile defender could play at either right back or centre back in west London, providing the Chelsea boss with some much-needed options.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are another club who could use some additional bodies at the back, and the Express claims Arsene Wenger has been an admirer of the player since his time at Oldham Athletic as a teenager.
However, the Gunners chief also looks set to miss out in his efforts to bring the player to the Emirates Stadium, and it’s unlikely the former Malaga chief would want to sell to a rival anyway.