Manchester City defender Micah Richards says that he would have left the club a long time ago had it not been for the sudden investment from the Qatari owners.

The investment from the Middle East started to make the club one of best in the world after their arrival in 2008. Richards, who is currently on loan at Fiorentina, says that he could have joined either Chelsea or Manchester United after enormous interest from the duo. However, the sudden increase in wealth meant that City did not have to sell Richards to one of their rivals.

Even though Richards was once considered as the most promising defender in English football, he has since gone off the boil and is now struggling to establish himself. Since his move to Fiorentina, Richards has been trying to engineer a way back to the Premier League. He has spoken about how the English league suits his game. There have been only a couple of English exports to the Italian Serie A, while there have been even less defenders amongst that list. At 26 years of age, Richards is at the prime of his career and he feels that a move back to the Premier League will be great at this stage.

“If we didn’t get the investment we did, I’d probably be captain now.I probably wouldn’t have left. I had a chance to go to Chelsea five years ago, and Manchester United.I always enjoyed City. They gave me a chance at such a young age.It was emotional because I was at City for a long time, but some day I’ll be back there in some capacity, maybe not coaching, I’d like to scout players. I do love City. City fans have always been great to me,” said the former England international.