Richards admits turning down Man City pay-rise to join Fiorentina
He has been part of the first-team set-up since 2005, but has found opportunities increasingly hard to come by - with Pablo Zabaleta currently blocking his path to a right-back berth.
Richards has remained an important part of the fold, so much so that City were prepared to offer him a salary increase, but he feels the time has come to try something different and kick-start his career at an ambitious Serie A side.
He told talkSPORT: "I'm desperate to play football.
"It's been a frustrating two years at Manchester City. It's my club and I've given my blood, sweat and tears for them. When you find yourself not playing, it's hard.
"I was offered a new contract and I had a long think about it. I was offered more money at City but it's not about the money, it's about playing football now.
"It was so, so hard to leave and it was an emotional day for me."
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