Micah Richards is amongst Tim Sherwood’s targets for the summer transfer window, as the Aston Villa boss looks to improve his squad for next season.
The Midlands club ended the 2014/15 campaign with a 1-0 home loss to relegated Burnley, which was their 20th reverse of the season and their eighth in front of their own supporters. It is also the fourth successive edition in which Villa have battled to retain their place in the Premier League, and Sherwood knows a rapid improvement is needed to avoid a fifth straight scrap.
He has already been boosted with the permanent signing of loan star Scott Sinclair from Manchester City, and he also hopes to take Tom Cleverley on a free transfer from Manchester United after his impressive spell at the club. And earlier this year, Fabian Delph signed a new contract despite plenty of rival interest in his signature, and he now hopes Christian Benteke follows.
And according to the Daily Star, Sherwood is also planning to lure Richards back to the Premier League. Once regarded as one of the best defensive prospects in the country, the 26-year-old has seen his career stall at Manchester City and has spent the current season on loan at Fiorentina, but he has only played 1o times in Serie A and is unlikely to remain in Italy beyond the summer.
Richards, who can operate at right fullback or in the heart of the back four, is out of contract at the Etihad Stadium at the end of next month when he will become a free agent. Sherwood hopes to persuade the player to join Villa, although he can expect competition from Liverpool, Newcastle United and West Ham United who are also keen on the 13-time England international.
Would Micah Richards be a good addition for Aston Villa, and which other areas should Tim Sherwood be looking at to improve ahead of next season?