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Newcastle are preparing a January move for Manchester City defender Micah Richards.

Toon boss Alan Pardew is a long-term admirer of the English right-back, who was offered a new deal to extend his eight-year stay at City in the summer.

But Richards wants assurances over his place in manager Manuel Pellegrini’s plans before signing the four-year contract.

He currently rotates with Pablo Zabaleta in competition for the right-back berth at the Etihad, but has made just two appearances this season – including a surprise start in the 3-1 loss against Bayern Munich.

Richards is happy competing with the Argentinian, and is paid around £65,000 a week. However, Newcastle could offer a significant financial incentive to move to St. James’ Park.

Richards missed the majority of last season through injury, but could look for first-team football as he aims to get back into the England reckoning ahead of the World Cup.

Manuel Pellegrini does not see Richards as a centre-half, preferring to keep him at full-back.

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