Micah Richards has shared the hilarious story of how he almost joined Everton in 2009.
Speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast, the former defender claimed that Manchester City were eager to include him in a swap deal for Joleon Lescott.
Richards joined Man City’s academy in 2001 and went onto make his in 2005, quickly becoming one of England’s most exciting prospects. The youngster was linked with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus and was also nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award two years later.
Richards became a regular for Man City and had made 34 appearances in the Premier League during the season before he came extremely close to making the move to Merseyside.
Speaking on the podcast, Richards said: “We [Richards and Lescott] were talking about football and if he was happy at Everton and he said that he would love to come to Man City. So after the international break, I pull Mark Hughes and I said to him that Joleon wants to come.
“A week later, I get a call from Joleon who said it looked like it was going to happen. So Joleon’s come into Man City now and Mark Hughes is only trying to get rid of me in the deal to go to Everton!
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“I’m thinking, hold on, I’ve done all the dirty work here and Mark Hughes has not even told me anything and is trying to get me to go the other way in a swap deal.
“No disrespect to Mark Hughes but I was like I can’t trust you anymore! What was he thinking?”
Should Man City have swapped Lescott for Micah Richards?
Meanwhile, Lescott had been named Everton’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season twice ahead of his move to Manchester. The centre-back eventually earned himself a £22 million move, while Richards also remained at the club.
It’s unclear whether it was Richards that pulled the plug on his forced switch to Goodison Park or if the Toffees didn’t want him, but it wasn’t long before the defender found himself fighting for his place with Pablo Zabaleta.
The 35-year-old was eventually loaned out to Fiorentina before he was sold to Aston Villa and retired four years later. It could have been very interesting to see how Richards’ career would have gone if he had agreed to swap places with Lescott.