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Micah Richards edging closer to Aston Villa move

The English defender will leave Florence after a disappointing season to go on lucrative wages in Birmingham

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Many of us were excited (or at least curious) to see how Micah Richards would fit into Fiorentina under Vincenzo Montella when he was brought on loan from the then-English champions Manchester City. That the Viola have lacked a decent right back for several seasons has not been a secret, although this weakness was often hidden by the use of the 3-5-2. But at the start of the season it appeared as though the ex-Premier League tandem of Marcos Alonso and Micah Richards wide could make a 4-3-3 more palatable.

While Alonso has had ups and down this season, he consistently made the first team for Montella, while Richards barely found the field. For a detailed breakdown of Richards' season, Giancarlo Rinaldi did a great job. But for the casual reader, Richards had brief highs - in the Europa League, and then against Juventus in the Coppa Italia - and equally brief lows - Sevilla, Napoli - but for the most part didn't play much. He only managed 10 appearances, and Fiorentina did not look to sign the loanee.

Regardless, the now out of contract defender is still only 26 and has top class pedigree, so Aston Villa has made his signature a priority, with both the Daily Mail and now Sky Sports reporting that the right back is expected to get £65,000 a week at Villa Park. The deal is expected to be concluded by next week, and with the promise of first team football to go along with the lucrative wage bill (which SB Nation Villa blog 7500 to Holte calls 'in the top 3 at the club'), there is very little reason for Micha Richards to say no.