Dominic King reports how Sunderland targetted the defender in the summer before he opted to move to Villa Park on a free transfer from Manchester City. Villa are said to have immediately knocked back the deadline day approach.
Richards has came under increasing pressure at Villa with performances being substandard to many fans with the former England international even confronting a group of fans in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw away at Wycombe Wanderers last month.
The 27-year old has appeared 16 times so far this campaign, scoring on one occasion. He has mainly been deployed as a centre-back by Remi Garde and Tim Sherwood respectively, but he garnered a reputation in Manchester as a rampaging full-back.
In recent weeks, Jores Okore and Joleon Lescott have been picked at centre-half with Richards at right-back or on the subs bench.