Richards set for season-long Fiorentina loan

The versatile defender has dropped down the pecking order at Manchester City and has now opted to move abroad despite interest from West Ham and Sunderland
Manchester City defender Micah Richards is on the verge of completing a season-long loan move to Fiorentina.

The 13-time England international has slipped down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium and is heading to Serie A in a loan deal expected to cost €1.25 million (£1m).

Richards has been pictured in Florence, joining fellow Englishman and new Roma signing Ashley Cole in Italy, and is expected to undergo a medical ahead of the temporary move later on Monday.

Manuel Pellegrini's acquisition of right-back Bacary Sagna this summer has seen Richards's opportunities limited, demoting him to third-choice behind the Frenchman and Pablo Zabaleta.

West Ham were hopeful of bringing Richards to Upton Park, with Sunderland also retaining interest during the summer, but the versatile defender has opted to move abroad.