By William Joyce
Newcastle United are ready to make a move for Micah Richards if right-back Mathieu Debuchy leaves the club this summer.
Reports suggest Arsenal are leading the chase for Debuchy as they look to replace Bacary Sagna, who has signed for Manchester City and moved Richards further down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium.
As Goal revealed in March, Newcastle are the favourites to sign the 26-year-old and are willing to match his £70,000-a-week wages.
Newcastle chief scout, Graham Carr, has approved a move for the defender, with club owner Mike Ashley agreeing to finance the deal.
The 26-year-old's ability to play anywhere across the back four is an attractive prospect for manager Alan Pardew.
Newcastle are anticipating bids for Debuchy in the coming weeks, and sources have told Goal that they expect him to move on if offers materialise.
Richards could become the club's fourth summer signing, with Ayoze Perez, Jack Colback and Siem de Jong having already moved to St James' Park.
Newcastle are also understood to be readying a move for Jack Rodwell and are waiting for Manuel Pellegrini to green-light the midfielder's departure from the Etihad.
Goal understands almost half of the clubs in the Premier League have enquired about Rodwell in recent weeks.