Liverpool eyeing summer swoop for Manchester City outcast - three questions and reaction

Micah Richards

Liverpool have once again been linked with a move to sign Manchester City defender Micah Richards this summer.

Richards, 25, was once tipped for stardom as a teenager, turning in impressive displays for both City and England, but has seen his career fall by the wayside in recent years. With Pablo Zabaleta firmly entrenched as the starting right back, Richards' first team opportunities dwindle since the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium.

As a result, Richards is expected to leave the club this summer, with the likes of Arsenal and Newcastle linked with a move for the former Leeds United and Oldham Athletic trainee - but the recurring speculation is that Richards will be a primary target for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool.

With the links getting stronger, here are three questions surrounding Liverpool's reported interest in the former England international.

What does the future hold for Glen Johnson?

Johnson, 29, has enjoyed a successful season at Anfield this term, but sees his contract expire in 2015, and with no extension forthcoming - for now at least - the potential arrival of Richards could be the sign that Rodgers sees Johnson's future away from Merseyside, which could see the former Chelsea man sold this summer to prevent losing him for nothing in a year's time.

Would City sell to a title rival?

A year ago, City wouldn't have seen the Reds as genuine title contenders - but now, with Liverpool sitting top of the table, it's a different story. Whilst City have an abundance of players and may need to let some go this summer, they would surely rather sell Richards to a team outside of the title battle to make sure they weren't improving a direct rival in the process.

Will Richards be seen as a centre back or right back?

Richards' versatility can also be his downfall. Unable to hold down a position at either right back or centre back, it's unclear on where the defender's best position truly is. Liverpool have had some problems in the centre of their defence this season, with Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho both error-prone at times this campaign, whilst Daniel Agger could leave the club this summer. With Jon Flanagan also developing at right back, Richards may see time in the centre of defence.

Here are some reactions from Liverpool fans on Twitter regarding the rumours of Richards' potential arrival on Merseyside...

Register for LIVERPOOL FC team updates

Register for MANCHESTER CITY FC team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch