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Micah Richards denies ruining Fabian Delph’s Man City move (Twitter)

Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards has denied that he persuaded Fabian Delph to snub the Citizens.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side appeared to have secured the Aston Villa captain on Friday when the 2014 Premier League champions met his £8 million fee release clause.

However, the midfielder made a surprising u-turn on Saturday when he opted to remain at Villa and reject a switch to the Etihad Stadium [Sky Sports].

“I’m aware there has been intense media speculation surrounding my future in the last 24 hours and I want to set the record straight,” Delph began, in a statement on the club website.

“I’m not leaving. I’m staying at the football club and I can’t wait for the start of the season and captaining this great football club.”

Ahead of his change of heart, Delph had reportedly spoken to ex-Citizens defender Micah Richards in order to discuss a potential move to the north-west [BBC Sport].

Richards was a youth product at City, but despite breaking into the England squad during his time with the Citizens, he fell out of favour as injuries affected his progress.

The defender was also hampered by the influx of money and top-class talent into the club, and finally left for Villa earlier this summer having spent last season on loan at Fiorentina.

Writing on Twitter, the defender denied that he had advised Delph to snub Pellegrini and remain at Villa Park.

“If people actually think I had an influence on Delph not going to City you’re wrong!” the 27-year-old began.

“And I have nothing but great things to say about City!”

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Delph had also been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in January, before rejecting a move to both clubs and pledging his future to Villa [Mirror].

Despite last week’s stutter, it now looks likely that the 25-year-old will honour his pledge to stay with the club and help Tim Sherwood’s side pull clear of the relegation zone.

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