Fabian Delph has revealed Micah Richards helped change his mind over Manchester City

Fabian Delph
Image: Fabian Delph says Micah Richards played a key role in his City U-turn

Fabian Delph has revealed that conversations with former Manchester City defender Micah Richards influenced him to change his mind about moving to the club.

Delph signed a five-year contract with City on Friday, less than a week after rejecting the transfer and committing his future to Aston Villa through a strongly-worded statement.

It has now emerged that new Villa signing Richards, who had denied persuading Delph to snub City earlier this week, was influential in the U-turn.

“Micah Richards told me that as far as he is concerned, this is the best club in the world and he had the time of his life here," Delph said in an interview on City’s official website.

The 25-year-old also referred to conversations with City 'keeper and international team-mate Joe Hart: “I spoke with him when I was with him for England and he was always been telling me how the club has come on and what City are trying to achieve.”

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - JUNE 14:  (L-R) Phil Jones , Fabian Delph, Joe Hart and Wayne Rooney of England observe the national anthem during the UEFA EURO 2016
Image: Delph (second left) alongside Joe Hart on England duty

City triggered the £8m release clause in Delph’s Villa contract last week, but the midfielder released a statement in which he insisted: “I'm not leaving.

Speaking to City TV, Fabian Delph has said he is looking forward to the challenge of playing for Manchester City

"I'm staying at the football club and I can't wait for the start of the Premier League season."

Richards then took to social media to deny suggestions he had encouraged Delph to stay at the Midlands club, saying on Twitter: "If people actually think I had an influence on Delph not going to City you’re wrong! And I have nothing but great things to say about City!"

New signing Micah Richards is all smiles
Image: Micah Richards spent 10 years at Manchester City before moving to Aston Villa this summer

Delph claimed his initial decision to stay at Villa was an emotional one, and one that he soon regretted.

"My decision was purely based on the emotion and feelings that I hold for the club and the people there that I would be walking away from - rather than looking at the football opportunity that had been placed in front of me," he said.

Manchester City have completed the signing of Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph for £8m.

After completing a medical on Friday, Delph was preparing to fly to Australia to join his new team-mates on their pre-season tour of Australia.

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