• Right-back wants more money and playing guarantee
• Joleon Lescott also in the frame for new contract
Manchester City are confident that Micah Richards is happy at the club and will sign a new contract despite talks stalling due to the right-back wanting assurances about regular playing time.
Richards, who has two years remaining on his deal, has spoken to Manuel Pellegrini and been told by the coach that he is an important part of his plans. Richards also believes he deserves an increase in salary on his present earnings of around £65,000 a week.
While there is reported interest from Internazionale, it is thought that Richards's preference is not to play abroad at this stage of his career. The 25-year-old endured an injury-plagued campaign last season due to an ankle problem he picked up playing for Team GB at London 2012 and a knee injury that then ruled him out from late October to mid-April. He has been undergoing specialised work during the close season to strengthen his fitness.
Meanwhile Joleon Lescott, who has a year left on his contract, has been told he does have a future at City if he wants to remain at the club. Kolo Touré's departure to Liverpool has strengthened Lescott's position recently but he had slipped down the pecking order under Pellegrini's predecessor, Roberto Mancini, and he is keen to play regularly next season before England's prospective participation in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Gareth Barry, who also has only 12 months remaining on his contract, may well depart as he is conscious that Fernandinho's £30m arrival means his first-team chances will be limited.
Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo is being monitored by City. The 27-year-old is one of a number of strikers who are potential targets for the club, with Benfica's Oscar Cardoza another.