Micah Richards Clarifies Manchester City Future Amid Liverpool Transfer Reports

Christopher AtkinsContributor IOctober 18, 2013

HONG KONG - JULY 22:  Manchester City player Micah Richards is greeted by fans at Hong Kong Airport as the team arrives to compete in the Barclays Asia Trophy, on July 22, 2013 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Jessica Hromas/Getty Images)
Jessica Hromas/Getty Images

Manchester City defender Micah Richards insists he is happy to stay at Manchester City, following reports of a possible move to Liverpool, per the Daily Star's Nick Lustig.

Richards, 25, has struggled for regular football over recent seasons, despite having been a first-team regular at the club from a very early age.

A combination of injury and the rise of Pablo Zabaleta saw Richards start just seven league games last season, while he is thus far yet to feature in the Premier League in 2013-14.

He told BT Sport, via Lustig, that he is not concerned just yet:

I did say at the start of the season I wanted to see the manager's plans and I'm in his plans, as he's said all along, so we'll see what the future holds, but I'm happy at Manchester City.

I've been here since I was 14, it's a club I love.  Before I got my injuries, I was number-one choice. It's only because I got injuries and Pablo Zabaleta has done so well, I find myself not playing as regular.

I'm fully fit now and I'm ready to show everyone what I can do.

Richards would appear to have faith that manager Manuel Pellegrini will eventually hand him a chance to impress for City this season.

Sadly, from an England perspective, that is unlikely to come soon enough to see the talented Richards force his way into the international setup ahead of next summer's World Cup.

What the City player must weigh up is whether he can realistically force his way into the City side during the current campaign.

If he cannot, then he is in danger of becoming yet another England international content to sit on the bench at a big club—rather than risk dropping down a level and playing every week.

Liverpool have been a suggested suitor for some time, with the Mirror's John Cross reporting interest in the player as long ago as April. The Reds may not yet be in the Champions League, but they are heading in the right direction under Brendan Rodgersand, crucially, Richards would be a leading light.

Rodgers is not overly blessed in defensive areas and has been forced to use either Kolo Toure or Andre Wisdom at right-back this season, in the continued absence of Glen Johnson.

Richards should feel confident of displacing both players, while the uncertainty over the future of Martin Martin Skrtel, per the Mirror, could potentially see a space open up in the club's recently trialed back-three system.

Injuries have played their part, but it is now time for Richards to control his own destiny. If he is not making inroads into the first XI on a regular basis by January, he has to consider moving on.

The City youngster had promised to be one of the finest England defenders of his generation when he first broke through as a teenager. Now in his mid-20s, he is yet to show signs of substantial progress.