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Micah Richards: I've turned down Chelsea & Manchester United

Fiorentina defender Micah Richards has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Chelsea and Manchester United earlier in his career.

Richards was touted as one of the best up-and-coming central defenders in England when he burst onto the first-team scene at Manchester City back in 2005 but has since struggled to make an impression at the Etihad Stadium.

The 26-year-old was subsequently loaned out to Fiorentina in the summer although it could have all been very different for the defender, with Chelsea and United having been keen on signing him in the past.

He told The Daily Telegraph: "I probably wouldn't have left. I had a chance to go to Chelsea five years ago, and Manchester United, but I didn't feel it was right. I always enjoyed City.

"They gave me a chance at such a young age [17]. I've been a bit unfortunate because, whenever I picked up some form, I got a niggling injury. With City, if you get an injury you can find yourself out of the team for months.

"If we didn't get the investment we did, I'd probably be captain now."

Richards has only made two Premier League appearances for City in the last two seasons and the centre-back expects to leave the club in the summer.

He added: "I do feel it is closed now at City for me unless Roberto Mancini got the job and wanted to bring me back in!

"Wherever I go next, or stay at Fiorentina, I want to be first choice. It's nothing to do with money. If it was for money, I'd have signed at City."

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