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Micah Richards could be available to Arsenal this summer

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With Micah Richards looking for a fresh start away from Manchester City, Arsenal could pounce to bring the defender to the Emirates.

Shaun Botterill

Micah Richards is sure to leave Manchester City this summer. At a relatively cheap price, young and experienced, Richards could be a great prospect for Arsenal. The defender has recently turned down contract offers from Manchester City after being snubbed this season -- replaced permanently by Pablo Zabaleta and at times, not even named to the substitutes bench. The defender is keen on a fresh start somewhere else, where he could fulfill his early promise as one of England's most exciting defenders and Arsenal could be a great destination for him.

Richards is of course garnering interest from many other teams, teams that include Liverpool and Newcastle United, but would hardly turn down an offer from his boyhood club in Arsenal. This situation though is hinged on what happens with Bacary Sagna's contract negotiations. It is no secret that the team has been adamant about extending Sagna's contract, offering him several deals so far this season, but it looks as if both sides have come to an impasse. Sagna is also receiving interest from many clubs himself, both abroad and at home -- with Manchester City making their interest known early on -- which makes for a difficult situation.

If Sagna is to renew his contract, then that is a victory in itself. If not, there looks to be a ready-made replacement in the form of Micah Richards close to home that could use the chance to prove himself. He has made almost 250 appearances since 2005, and a few years ago, was touted as one of the hardest defenders to play against. He is also just 25 years of age, not yet in his prime and could improve tremendously under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould.

City still intend to hold more contract talks with the defender, as Arsenal are still pushing for Sagna to extend, but if both are to fail, Arsenal could do a lot worse than a former player-of -the-year nominee as a replacement for Mr. Reliable.