Richards seals Fiorentina loan move

Micah Richards has joined Fiorentina on a season-long loan

Micah Richards has joined Fiorentina on a season-long loan

First published in National Sport © by

Micah Richards has joined Serie A side Fiorentina on a season-long loan after admitting defeat in his pursuit of first team football at Manchester City.

Richards is City's longest serving player, making 245 appearances since his debut in 2005, but has struggled for game time in recent seasons having been usurped at both right-back and centre-half.

Having travelled to Florence for a medical over the weekend, he has now joined La Viola until the end of the current campaign.

City confirmed the news on their official website.

Richards made only 10 appearances last term, two of those in the league, and was last seen as a substitute in the Community Shield defeat by Arsenal, during which he was handed the captain's armband.

The 26-year-old was a key part of City's title-winning squad in 2011/12 and earned the last of his 13 England caps against Holland two years and a half years ago.

He becomes the second England international full-back to head to Italy this summer, with the retired Ashley Cole having signed for Roma.

City's statement read: "Micah Richards has joined Serie A side Fiorentina until the end of the season.

"One of the most popular members of Manuel Pellegrini's squad, Micah has won 13 England caps to date and was an integral member of the City squad who won the title in 2011/12.

"A succession of injuries saw the Birmingham-born defender gradually fall behind Pablo Zabaleta in the first-team pecking order and the arrival of Bacary Sagna meant Pellegrini had three top-class right-backs at his disposal this season."

Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany praised Richards on his exit, writing on Twitter: "#MCFC club legend! Proud to have played 6 years alongside this man. Congratulations and good luck at @ACF_Fiorentina my brother #forzaMicah."

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