Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is preparing to make an ambitious £20 million bid for Manchester City defender Micah Richards, the Daily Star understands.
According to reports, Richards has emerged as one of Mourinho’s main transfer targets this summer, with Los Blancos having already been in contact with City regarding the England international.
“Real Madrid made contact with City a few weeks ago and Micah is waiting to see what City do, but he would definitely be interested in the move,” revealed an anonymous source.
“Jose Mourinho has always rated him and reckons he would be a great addition to his squad as they look to defend their Spanish title and try to win back the Champions League.”
The 24-year-old was City’s first-choice right-back at the beginning of the 2011-12 English Premier League campaign, but ended up out-of-favour and playing second fiddle to Argentine Pablo Zabaleta.
Richards started 23 league matches for the English champions last term, tallying one goal and five assists.
Meanwhile, Zabaleta started 18 Premier League games for Roberto Mancini, including against Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the season, when he opened the scoring for the would-be champions in the 39th minute.
Now then, Mourinho has been a long-time admirer of Richards. In fact, the Portuguese made an official approach for the Englishman, which was obviously rejected, while he was managing Chelsea FC.
Manchester City rewarded the versatile Richards with a £70,000-a-week deal in August, despite benching him for the most pivotal matches of the 2011-12 campaign.
The former Oldham Athletic youth starlet is arguably the best right-back in the Premier League, but has remained seemingly out-of-favour for both club and country.
Will Micah Richards leave the Etihad Stadium in favour of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu this summer?
Pienaar nears Spurs exit
According to Sky Sports, Tottenham Hotspur Steven Pienaar is inching closer to rejoining Everton on a permanent basis.
Pienaar officially joined Everton in 2008 from German Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund after spending the entirety of 2007-08 on loan at Goodison Park.
The South African left the Merseyside for north London in January 2011 for a transfer fee of £3 million.
After failing to make an impact at Tottenham, Pienaar was loaned out to Everton for the second half of last season.
Upon his return to the Merseyside, the former Ajax Cape Town standout tallied an impressive four goals and seven assists in 14 league matches, leading Everton to a 7th place finish in the English Premier League in 2011-12.
Pienaar is expected to rejoin Everton for a transfer fee in the region of £5 million.