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Micah Richards heading to Aston Villa, according to reports

Image: Micah Richards in action for Fiorentina

Aston Villa are closing in on the signing of Micah Richards, according to widespread reports.

The former Manchester City full-back, who spent last season on loan with Serie A club Fiorentina, is a free agent after leaving the Etihad Stadium.

Richards has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, including Sunderland, Liverpool and Newcastle, but Villa look set to win the race for his signature.

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Richards, who has made 13 appearances for England, has won two league titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup with City but last featured for Manuel Pellegrini's side in a home defeat to Wigan in March 2014.

Losing FA Cup finalists Villa, are keen to bolster their defensive options after conceding 57 league goals last season - a campaign which saw them escape relegation by only three points.

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