Micah Richards has done so much for Aston Villa.

His name is up there in the list of players that saw the club through its recent darkest days upon relegation from the top flight. The player skippered the club through its first relegation from the Premier League, after joining in 2015.

With the club now in the Championship, there are reports that he might move to Nottingham Forest. When Champions League winner Roberto di Matteo was tasked with the responsibility of helping the club back to the Premier League, he decided to freeze out the defender. Richards played just two games before Steve Bruce took over in October.

Ritchie De Laet became the first choice in the right back role while Alan Hutton and Leandro Bacuna ranked higher than Richards in the pecking order. He eventually got some game time when De Laet was sidelined on a long term basis, getting his first game against Wolves. Since then Bruce has been naming him in his substitutes’ list even though he rarely calls on him.

Richards and Tommy Elphick are set to depart the club as Bruce has consistently shown lack of faith in them, despite their years of experience. The injury situation has hampered Richards’ career of recent but he still wants more action before exiting the game. He is only 29 years of age but he has leadership experience and decent career accomplishments; he is a vibrant character in the dressing room, and has decent skills to contribute to the defence arm of a Championship side.

With De Laet back from his knee injury, James Bree available, Alan Hutton in great form and new addition in Ahmed Elmohamady, a player of Richards’ status would prefer to move away and fight for a starting role elsewhere. He would likely take another pay cut though, having previously taken one upon relegation to the lower tier.