Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool 'monitoring' England defender

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Manchester City defender Micah Richards' contract talks are being monitored by a trio of Premier League clubs, according to

The England defender played an initial part in City's qualification for the Champions League and during their run to the FA Cup final, where they beat Stoke City at Wembley.

But with City have brought in defenders Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic, Richards may be on of the men culled from the squad, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all prowling.

The club have opened talks over a new contract with Richards, which has two years to run, but as yet a deal has yet to be agreed, alerting three of their Premier League rivals.

Arsenal are desperate to reinforce their defensive options, following a season which saw their bid for domestic and European honours undermined by mishaps in the club's back four.


Under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea are looking to breath new life into their squad following a disappointing season under Carlo Ancelotti.

Meanwhile, Liverpool, who have already drafted in Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam this summer, are keen to further invest in a defence that concede more goals that any of the Premier League's top four.

Despite qualifying for the Champions League last season with City, a competition Richards is yet to compete in, Arsenal and Chelsea will both be able to boast years of experience in Europe's premier club competition.

Liverpool, who will be looking to get back into the top four next season, are expected to make more ventures into the transfer market, with Stewart Downing duo to make his move from Aston Villa.

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