Manchester City slap £15m price tag on wantaway Richards

The 24-year-old is considering his options ahead of the summer transfer window and the Etihad Stadium outfit are willing to listen to offers for the out-of-favour defender
By Paul Clennam

Manchester City will demand at least £15 million from clubs hoping to sign Micah Richards this summer, understands.

The 24-year-old may be forced to look elsewhere at the end of the season, with Pablo Zabaleta's form and a succession of injuries having hampered his progress and limited his opportunities under Roberto Mancini.

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The City boss would be open to allowing Richards a move away this summer after failing to receive an offer for him in January, despite interest from AC Milan, and would look to accrue between £15m and £20m for his services.

Richards made his first appearance for the Premier League champions since October, having recovered from knee surgery, on Wednesday against Wigan but Mancini was critical of the defender's performance, which lasted 83 minutes.

"I think that he needs to work a lot," the Italian asserted. "I didn't like it [the performance]. I am happy because he comes back to play but I thought that he was in better form."

Richards's long-term absence has seen Zabaleta shine at right back for the champions this season and the England international knows that he may have to move in order to secure consistent first-team opportunities.

Speaking following his return against Roberto Martinez's side, Richards voiced his frustration over being out of first-team contention for so long.

"Five-and-a-half, six months - it is quite frustrating to be out so long," he admitted. "When I came back I was playing really well.

"Now Zaba has been class this season. It is going to be hard to get back in but you know what football is like, one minute you are in and the next you are out. When I am in I am going to have to take my chance."

Arsenal and Liverpool are reported to be monitoring Richards's progress ahead of the summer transfer window but City would rather sell to a non-Premier League club.

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