The France international’s long-awaited Bosman switch to the Etihad Stadium was confirmed last week, with the Sky Blues having bowed to his wage demands as they look to bolster their squad for next season.
With his arrival, Richards looks to be surplus to requirements and could well be allowed to leave for around £7m with his contract set to expire in 12 months’ time.
Although a direct rival Liverpool could get Richards, with the player himself thought to be open to the switch and the club aware that losing him for free would be a blow.
The 25-year-old has endured an injury-plagued few years, but was once heralded as one of English football’s most promising defenders.
Brendan Rodgers is said to be a fan of his abilities, with his ability to play at either right-back or the centre of defence appealing.
West Ham and Hull are also keen, but neither club have quite the same pulling power as the Merseysiders.