The current Saints right-back has just under 18 months remaining on his St. Mary’s contract and has been attracting serious attention from Manchester United of late.
There’s a chance that he could leave at the end of the season as the Saints go about getting a respectable fee for the England international, which will leave them short of cover in the position.
And to address the issue a move for Richards is being considered.
The powerful defender is currently on loan at Fiorentina from Manchester City, but looks unlikely to return to the Etihad Stadium, as his contract expires in just a few months’ time.
Liverpool, as well as West Ham, have been linked with moves to land the 26-year-old, who has already confessed that a Premier League return appeals to him.
Southampton are also keeping tabs on AZ Alkmaar’s Swedish right-back Mattias Johansson.