England International set to move to Camp Nou in part exchange deal?
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Barcelona will launch a shock bid for Manchester City right-back Micah Richards should Dani Alves leave, according to Spanish daily SPORT.
Alves’ new contract talks have stalled in recent weeks, opening the door for the flying full-back to leave Camp Nou. And, ironically, one of the clubs reportedly interested in signing Alves is City.
And Barca are ready to raid the Manchester club for a ready-made Alves replacement in the form of Richards, whose place at City has come under threat following the summer arrival of right-back Jerome Boateng.
SPORT report Barcelona are ready to bid around £6m for the England international, who is contracted to City until 2013. (talkSPORT)
This seems exceptionally unlikely, but given that it is being reported in the Spanish media, let’s evaluate the move regardless.
Manchester City signed another right back capable of playing in central defence this summer – Jerome Boateng – and he has more often than not played ahead of Micah Richards.
When Richards first came through at Eastlands, he looked the finest defensive prospect this country has seen in years.
Accomplished performances under Steve McClaren for England followed, and Richards’ star looked set to continue to rise.
Instead though, he has found it difficult to adapt tactically, and is caught out of position often at crucial moments.
The most obvious example that springs to mind is from the quite brilliant Manchester derby of September 2009, which the red half of the city won 4-3. Manchester United’s last minute winner from Michael Owen was the result of both excellent movement from the former England striker, and a lack of concentration from Richards.
However, if Manchester City were to sign Daniel Alves, Richards would not be a bad replacement.
Barcelona play so high up the pitch and have so much possession that most of Richards’ work would be in the attacking half of the pitch, and given that both he and his fellow Englishman Glen Johnson are both more comfortable in attacking areas than tracking back, he would not be ill-suited to work on Barcelona’s right flank.
Manchester City would get an established star from the deal, while the cash-strapped Barcelona would get a talented full back with bags of potential to improve.
It still seems exceptionally unlikely, but stranger things have happened…
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