Manchester City defender Micah Richards has revealed he turned down a move to Inter Milan to join Aston Villa.
The Italian giants, who are managed by his former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, first made their interest known in January and made another approach at the end of the season as Richards’ contract at City expired.
But instead of opting to stay in Serie A, where he had struggled for games with Fiorentina, the 27-year-old defender decided to return to the Premier League in the hope of reviving his career.
He said: “There were quite a few clubs in for me, some abroad, but having not played so much at Fiorentina, I thought it was right to come home.
“I was speaking to Inter as well with Mancini. They tried to get me in January but that didn’t materialise.
“I spoke to him afterwards but I wanted to come back to England. I didn’t want to be out in Italy and then the manager gets sacked and I’m fighting for my place in the same situation. That’s one of the main reasons I chose to come back.”
Another option Richards had was to stay at City, having been offered a new deal, but he felt it necessary to move on after three years of little action.
Richards added: “I got offered a four or five-year deal and the manager said to me, ‘I want you to stay’. I said, ‘I’m not playing enough’.
“When I was playing I was picking up hamstring injuries because I wasn’t playing enough
“It doesn’t matter how much money you are offered, I thought, ‘I can’t keep doing this’. As a player, especially in the Premier League, if you get offered (the chance) to play somewhere regularly, you have to take it. That’s me anyway it’s the sort of person I am.
“I’m not going to stay on the bench or at home on the weekends just for more money.”