Newcastle United are closing in on Manchester City defender Micah Richards.

The Daily Star Sunday says the England right-back, 25, who has suffered injury problems in recent years, is desperate to play more first-team games after only managing nine appearances for Manuel Pellegrini's title-chasers so far this season.

But Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be able to offer £8million-rated Richards guaranteed games and will match his current £72,000-a-week salary if he joins Toon.

England star Richards is out of contract next year and talks at The Etihad on a new deal have broken down.

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