Micah Richards Reportedly Lined Up for Transfer from Manchester City to Arsenal

Greg JohnsonSpecial to Bleacher ReportNovember 13, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 17:  Micah Richards of Manchester City gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic at the Etihad Stadium on April 17, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Having fallen behind Pablo Zabaleta in the pecking order at Manchester City over the last few seasons, Micah Richards is set to be offered an escape route back into first-team football by Arsenal.

From Gary Jones of the Daily Star:

City’s £10m-rated England international is again being eyed by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger as a potential replacement for Bacary Sagna, who is is out of contract at the end of the season and is being lined up to join French club PSG.

A bid for the English defender would add depth and versatility to Wenger's squad, with Richards able to play at right-back or in central defence.

Arsenal have already suffered several injury setbacks in defence this term, losing Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs and Per Mertesacker at different stages of the campaign.

Having watched the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling prop up Manchester United's title aspirations in the middle of defence and out wide, Wenger will be well aware of the value of a utility man such as Richards.

Arsene Wenger may be seeking a defender as versatile as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Arsene Wenger may be seeking a defender as versatile as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.Michael Steele/Getty Images

The City defender's more physical approach to defending would be a welcome addition alongside the ball-playing figures of Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Gibbs.

Arsenal were undone by a corner in their recent loss to Manchester United, which took advantage of the clear gulf in size between the two sides.

However, as Jones explains, Arsenal could face issues persuading the player to leave City. Richards is out of contract at the end of next season but recently revealed he wants a long-term stay at the Etihad.

Manuel Pellegrini is still finding his way at Eastlands and fringe players may be able to win a place in his plans.
Manuel Pellegrini is still finding his way at Eastlands and fringe players may be able to win a place in his plans.Warren Little/Getty Images

With Manuel Pellegrini's reign at the Etihad still in its embryonic stages, Richards may feel he can risk waiting a little while longer to try to force his way into the Chilean's plans, especially if Arsenal's title challenge begins to fade.

It's vital that the Gunners maintain their momentum should they wish to sign quality reinforcements in January. A trophy drought of eight years and counting is not the most appealing prospect for prospective signings, particularly if they are faced with the dilemma of leaving a fellow title-chasing club to move to North London.