Micah Richards has revealed that new Aston Villa team-mate Fabian Delph has asked him for his thoughts following reported interest from Manchester City.
England midfielder Delph has been linked with an £8million summer switch to the Etihad Stadium and Richards, who left City to join Villa on a free transfer this summer, is ideally placed to offer advice.
Defender Richards does not think it is a decision the 25-year-old should take lightly and would not recommend moving, even to a title-challenging side, without being confident of regular action.
The potential biggest transfers of the summer
The potential biggest transfers of the summer
1/9 Theo Walcott
There is real uncertainty around the future of Theo Walcott with prolonged contract talks looking likely. Arsene Wenger told the press that the winger was a tough customer to negotiate with and when the player tweeted in March that talks were yet to begin (something that contradicted the club) it signalled what could be the beginning of the end of Walcott's Arsenal career. The England international will have a year to run on his contract this summer and if no new deal can be found he will probably be sold. Liverpool have emerged as the leading contenders for his signature, whilst Chelsea are also rumoured to be keeping tabs on the situation aware that there could be a bargain to be had due to his dwindling contract.
2/9 Raheem Sterling
Another England international seemingly destined to change his environment is Raheem Sterling. Liverpool are ready to pay the 20-year-old huge wages but it seems the Jamaican born player has said money is not the problem. It seems he wants to be winning trophies and playing in the Champions League - something that is far from guaranteed at Anfield. Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea are all monitoring the situation whilst moving abroad could be an option, with both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid linked. If Liverpool are unable to reach a compromise over a new deal, it's thought they'd rather sell this summer than give the player the initiative by letting him run his contract down to just one year to go in 2016.
3/9 Paul Pogba
Having left Manchester United for Juventus in 2012, France international Pogba has gone on to become arguably the best young player in Europe and now United want him back. But they're not the only ones interested in the 22-year-old. His contract in Turin runs until the summer of 2019 which means any move would be among most expensive in history, but that's not stopped the liked of Real Madrid, Manchester City, PSG, Arsenal and Chelsea being linked. Juventus have said if the player wants to go, he can, but they're confident he will remain.
4/9 Marco Reus
Speculation has surrounded the pacey Germany international for the past few windows but when he signed a new contract at Borussia Dortmund earlier this year, it looked to be the end of it. But with Jurgen Klopp's side struggling this season and European football out of the question next term, rumours have begun to resurface. With Theo Walcott possibly leaving Arsenal, the Gunners have reportedly made the 25-year-old their No 1 target to replace him. If it becomes apparent Dortmund are ready to do business, many other clubs will be making their interest known.
5/9 Gareth Bale
Bale wants to stay at Real Madrid, but his second season at the Bernabeu hasn't been easy. The former Spurs player has been picked out as the chief culprit for all the club's problems at the start of 2015, with his selfish style of play and habit of going missing being picked on for criticism. The mood in Madrid changes like a flag in the wind according to his team-mate Toni Kroos and it's quite possible he'll be the darling of the Spanish capital again, but Real Madrid aren't afraid to let big name players depart and would be able to command a huge fee for Bale to help balance the books. Manchester United will lead the pursuit.
6/9 Petr Cech
Despite a near faultless 10 years between the sticks at Stamford Bridge, in his eleventh season as a Chelsea player he found himself demoted behind the prodigious talent that is Thibaut Courtois. The Czech international has proved willing to put up with the situation this season but has already said he won't stand for sitting on the bench next term. Arsenal are among the clubs most regularly linked, however Chelsea would be reluctant to let the keeper, who will be 33 in the summer, leave for a rival. Roma, Napoli and Real Madrid have been mentioned as alternative destinations.
7/9 Angel Di Maria
He might have only arrived at Old Trafford last summer and have cost a British record £59.7m, but Angel Di Maria has been woeful in his debut season. With few of his passes finding their desired target it's thought Louis van Gaal could cut his losses and use whatever fee can be commanded to reinvest in players who fit more seamlessly into the Dutchman's system. Paris St Germain would be the first in line of a long queue keen to sign the Argentina international.
8/9 David De Gea
Real Madrid could bid for David De Gea in the next week in the hope of completing a transfer before they embark on their pre-season tour of Australia, with Manchester United already sounding out possible replacements.
9/9 Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos is wanted by Manchester United, who have already seen one bid rejected by Real Madrid. However, with the Spaniard believed to be keen on a move this summer, United appear to be the favourites to sign the World Cup winner.
Richards himself struggled to hold down a place in his final years at City due to a series of injuries and the form of Pablo Zabaleta, and spent last season on loan at Fiorentina.
Richards said: "It's tough isn't it? If he's got guarantees to play... He's been unbelievable for Aston Villa.
"Every player wants to play at the highest level. If he's going to be playing Champions League... I don't know, but if he's going there to be a squad player, then no.
"James Milner has played six or seven positions and still wanted to leave.
"So if he gets assurances he's going to play then the decision is his. I wouldn't say don't go to Manchester City, because if he's playing well he could play.
"If you're good enough you'll play.
"It's just being given that chance. If he (City manager Manuel Pellegrini) is going to give him the chance to play then it's hard to turn down the chance of playing Champions League football.
"To be fair he has asked me what I think about the situation. I told him I can't comment to be honest.
"I don't want to say go there and then he (Pellegrini) doesn't play him - he'll be ringing me up afterwards!"
Richards, 27, played a key role in City's FA Cup and Premier League triumphs of 2011 and 2012 respectively but was then restricted to just nine league appearances over the next two seasons.
He won the last of his 13 England caps in February 2012 and, after also struggling for game time in Italy, hopes the move to Villa can revive his career.
He adds that the international factor is also something Delph must consider if weighing up a move to join City's star-studded squad.
Richards said: "It makes it difficult because next year is the Euros.
"If you go to Man City and find yourself only playing 10 games and someone (else) has a really good season that player is going to play for England. Things can change.
"Sometimes you've got to strike when the iron's hot and Delph is playing well but it's a difficult decision. I'm sure he'll make the right one."
Richards was speaking at the launch of Aston Villa's new kit for the 2015-16 season.Reuse content