Micah Richards Determined to Stay at Manchester City Amid Liverpool Speculation

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Micah Richards of Manchester City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at Boleyn Ground on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Micah Richards wants to spend the next decade at Manchester City.

The 25-year-old plans to commit his long-term future to the Etihad club, as reported by The Sun’s Martin Blackburn (subscription required) and via Chris Richards of the Mirror:

I'm not leaving City. It's my club and I love it here. Ten more years — that's my aim.

I am back fit now and believe when I'm fit I am as good as anyone in the division playing that role.

Richards speaks amongst a time of uncertainty for the player. He stalled signing a new contract during the summer in order to make sure he is part of Manuel Pellegrini’s plans, per the Daily Mail, and remains the subject of fierce transfer speculation.

Liverpool’s reported interest continues to do the round. As reported by Nick Lustig of the Daily Star, Brendan Rodgers could be set to do battle with Arsenal for the full-back’s signature.

If Richards performs a U-turn, he would likely be influenced by competition at either club. Liverpool’s Glen Johnson could exit Anfield if forced to take a pay cut when he signs a new contract, highlighted by David Anderson of the Mirror.

Should Johnson fail to agree new terms, Richards would represent a defensive signing in the Rodgers mould. The Reds boss has captured a trio of powerful, physically commanding defenders in Kolo Toure, Aly Cissokho and Mamadou Sakho, a category Richards certainly falls into.

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Arsenal would also represent a decent move for the player, who has represented City twice in all competitions this season, per Who Scored. Bacary Sagna was rumoured to be leaving the Gunners on a free transfer next summer by James Orr of The Independent, an exit that would certainly leave a major gap in the North London club's defence.

Carl Jenkinson, the Frenchman’s replacement, recently underlined his first-team struggles with a vital mistake in Arsenal’s 2-0 Capital One Cup loss to Chelsea. If Sagna was to leave, Arsene Wenger needs a replacement.

Richards’ commitment to the City cause is commendable, but he faces an extremely difficult task when trying to dislodge Pablo Zabaleta from his starting spot.

He will get the chance to show what he can do in this time of repeated defensive mistakes for Pellegrini's men—possibly during the upcoming Capital One Cup tie with Newcastle—but sporadic appearances are likely to dent the Englishman's enthusiasm after too long.