The France World Cup star is set to complete his switch to Arsenal in the coming days, with personal terms and a fee understood to have been agreed.
With the former Lille man having been a key man at St James’ Park since his 2013 arrival, the Magpies are thought to be ready to re-invest immediately, with Richards an option.
The burly defender is said to be free to leave the Etihad Stadium for a fee of around £5m this summer, with his contract set to expire in 12 months’ time.
City have attempted to tie their man down to a new deal, but the 26-year-old has snubbed their proposal due to fears that he will have limited playing time.
Richards has endured a difficult few years with injuries, but the potential he showed beforehand is thought to have been enough to convince Newcastle.
The powerful and versatile enforcer is also wanted by Arsenal and Liverpool, which may see the Tynesiders turn to Daryl Janmaat.