Micah Richards insists he is not leaving Manchester City despite reported interest from Arsenal, Newcastle and Roma

Richards is running out of time to force his way into the England squad for next season having made just two appearances this season

Micah Richards is confident he is in manager Manuel Pellegrini's plans and has no intention of leaving Manchester City.

The full-back has played only twice this season, once in the Capital One Cup and once in the Champions League against Bayern Munich.

Injuries limited Richards to eight appearances last season and there had been speculation he may seek to leave the Etihad Stadium in search of a regular spot and to boost his England hopes.

The 25-year-old last played for his country in February 2012 and faces a race against time to force his way into Roy Hodgson's squad for the World Cup finals next summer.

Richards told BT Sport: "I did say at the start of the season I wanted to see the manager's plans and I'm in his plans, as he's said all along, so we'll see what the future holds, but I'm happy at Manchester City.

"I've been here since I was 14, it's a club I love.

"Before I got my injuries, I was number-one choice. It's only because I got injuries and Pablo Zabaleta has done so well, I find myself not playing as regular.

"I'm fully fit now and I'm ready to show everyone what I can do.

"It was a big decision for the manager to play me in the Bayern Munich game after only playing one game previously in the cup against Wigan so it shows massive confidence in me."

Meanwhile, defender Martin Demichelis is closing in on a first-team debut after pulling on a City shirt for the first time.

The Argentinian defender joined City at the start of September from Atletico Madrid but damaged knee ligaments in his first week of training.

Demichelis played 45 minutes in the elite development squad's 2-2 draw with Rochdale on Wednesday night.

With a return date for captain Vincent Kompany still uncertain, Demichelis' return to fitness has come at a good time, although Saturday's trip to West Ham may come too soon.

Demichelis, who played under Pellegrini at River Plate and Malaga, told http://www.mcfc.co.uk:"It was important to play and get the confidence back. My knee responded very well and I'm very happy after working very hard to get here.

"It was difficult at the beginning with the injury but that allowed me to meet everybody at the club and feel confident and comfortable with everybody so it's fantastic now and I'm looking forward to my debut."

Midfielder Jack Rodwell also played in the game, which City won on penalties, and has declared himself fit and available for West Ham.

The 22-year-old, who has been dogged by injury problems during his time at City, has made only one first-team appearance this season, in the goalless draw with Stoke in September.

Rodwell is another player hoping to prove himself to Hodgson, and he said: "Brazil's looming in the future and obviously I've got one eye on it but one step at a time.

"Hopefully I'll get in the (City) team soon and keep playing."

PA

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