Micah Richards would fit the bill for Newcastle United

Alan Pardew will consider a £4m summer move for Micah Richards after the former defender made it known he wants to leave Manchester City

Warren Little/Getty Images Micah Richards of Manchester City
Micah Richards of Manchester City

Newcastle United will consider a £4m move for Micah Richards after it emerged yesterday he has decided to leave Manchester City.

Last summer Pardew was very keen to bring English players to the club, and those with Premier League experience. Director of football Joe Kinnear was unable to provide either.

Two loan signings were made during his tenure – one in each window.

Frenchman Loic Remy had half a season in England under his belt, while Luuk de Jong was new to the country.

Remy has been such a success that Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid have been linked with him. So far de Jong has been such a disappointment it would be a surprise if Newcastle were to make his stay permanent, as originally planned.

The form of Pablo Zabaleta in particular has restricted Richards to just two Premier League starts this season, but as a veteran of 179 league games, the powerful defender meets Pardew’s criteria. At only 25 years old, he would also have the “sell-on value” which should make owner Mike Ashley amenable.

Richards is equally comfortable at right-back and central defence.

There are doubts about the future of Mathieu Debuchy and Fabricio Coloccini, Newcastle’s first choices in those positions.

Steven Taylor is also likely to be made available in the summer, while fellow centre-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has also had a disappointing campaign.

Like Remy, Debuchy will have suitors who can offer more ambition and a higher standard of football, particularly if he impresses at this summer’s World Cup. One of the big draws of Tyneside for the France international was the chance to be reunited with close friend Yohan Cabaye, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in January.

It is over a year since Coloccini announced he wanted to return to Argentina for family reasons. Although he reaffirmed his commitment to the club in the summer after accepting finances made such a move impossible, he has cut a distracted and unimpressive figure since returning from the injury with which he started the year.

West Ham United and Liverpool are also expected show an interest in Richards, but having played little football over the past two years, Newcastle may be able to convince him against a move to Anfield, where competition for places will be fierce.

Richards must factor his international ambitions into his choice of club.

Having made his debut after just 28 professional appearances, he has been consistently overlooked by Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson.

The Premier League has ruled that Newcastle over-charged Southampton supporters who visited St James’ Park in the run-up to Christmas.

The 1,180 travelling fans on December 14 will be offered between £9 and £11 back on tickets “significantly” more expensive than those sold to home fans in the same section of the ground.

Meanwhile reports in New Zealand suggest Newcastle will be offered the chance to play in a pre-season tournament in late July.

:: Former Liverpool captain Ronnie Whelan believes the current crop of Reds are finishing the season stronger than their rivals and that gives them the best chance of winning the title.

Brendan Rodgers’ team returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League table with a 2-1 win at West Ham on Sunday which made it nine successive league victories.

Whelan, who won six championships with Liverpool – including their last one in 1990 – believes the way in which they are overwhelming opponents with their pace and pressing is a good sign as the campaign reaches its climax.

“You cannot fault anything they are doing, they are going out and winning game after game and doing it well,” said Whelan.

“The energy they are showing at the end of the season always gives you a chance in the last five games.

“The energy seems to be more than Chelsea and Manchester City and the other teams.”

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