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West Ham lining up Man City’s forgotten England full-back

| 11.06.2014

It would certainly be a big coup if they can pull it off, as West Ham apparently size-up a transfer-window strike for wantaway Manchester City defender Micah Richards.

Richards has grown disillusioned with his position in the Premier League champions’ pecking order and is therefore refusing to extend his current contract beyond the end of next season, when it’s due to run out.

Pablo Zabaleta has the right-back berth sewn up at the Etihad for the 7/4 2014/15 title favourites and Richards is understandably reluctant to play understudy any longer, especially as he’s missing out on England contention.

This developing situation at City is sure to alert several top-flight clubs to the possibility of snaring the England international and somewhat surprisingly, it’s West Ham’s name that’s risen to the surface first.

The Hammers do already have Guy Demel and Joey O’Brien who operate at the right-back, but 25-year-old Richards would represent a marked step-up in class on the pair.

Heavily scrutinised Irons boss Sam Allardyce is apparently intent on strengthening in a number of different areas to try and improve his side’s fortunes next season.

West Ham’s perceived lack of progress in 2013/14 and widely derided style of play struck a bum note with many of the Upton Park faithful last season, though calls for Big Sam’s head ultimately fell on deaf ears.

If the former Bolton and Newcastle manager was able to attract the likes of Richards to the club, then his popularity would surely improve before a ball is even kicked next term.

Although the Leeds youth product has struggled with a succession of injuries during his time at City, on his day, the athletic and powerful full-back is one of the best in the Premier League.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.