Arsenal, Newcastle, West Ham, Tottenham, Liverpool. It is almost easier to list the Premier League teams not interested in signing Micah Richards on a cut-price deal this summer as he enters the final year of his Manchester City contract.
Reports suggest that Richards has turned down a five-year contract extension at the Etihad, which would have also increased his £55k a week wage, as he seeks more regular first-team football.
Richards has made only ten starts in all competitions for Man City and he looks a suitable fit for Liverpool, at least in the short term.
Brendan Rodgers has already found great success utilising one Man City academy graduate, with Daniel Sturridge responsible for 20 Premier League goals already this season.
Sturridge’s goals are one of the key factors in Liverpool now being just 7/4 to win the Premier League, after embarking on a nine-game winning run in the top flight.
Alternatively, it is 13/10 that Liverpool extend their winning streak with a victory over Man City at Anfield next.
Although Rodgers needs to strengthen in almost every position with Champions League football on the horizon, there will be a focus on avoiding overspending, especially in the wages department.
Glen Johnson is currently the third highest earner on the club’s books behind Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard and he hasn’t really justified this expenditure with no goals and just the two assists to his name all campaign.
The Liverpool boss has stated that that getting Johnson to pen a new deal in the summer is a priority, but this will almost certainly involve the right-back agreeing to a pay cut.
Given he turns 30 in August, should Johnson not play ball with negotiations, he may well be allowed to depart, especially with young Northern Irishman Ryan McLaughlin considered to have a bright future at the club.
But with McLaughlin still only 19, it could well be three seasons before he is ready to take over full-time in the first team and Richards looks an ideal option to compete with Jon Flanagan for starts until then.
The lure of Champions League football could be enough to tip the balance in Liverpool’s favour to sign Richards and should he rediscover the form he showed in the Sven-Goran Eriksson era at Man City, he may well prove one of the signings of the summer.