Former West Ham target Micah Richards is set to retire at the age of 30 after constant injury concerns, according to The Daily Mail.
Richards came close to joining West Ham two-and-a-half years ago but it looks like that failed transfer was a major blessing in disguise.
The Aston Villa defender is on the verge of hanging up his boots to focus on business interests outside of football.
Aston Villa block West Ham’s move
According to this report by The Daily Mail, then-Aston Villa boss Roberto di Matteo blocked West Ham’s attempt to sign Richards in summer 2016.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic was eyeing reinforcements at the back and he tried to poach Richards from Championship side Aston Villa.
The 13-cap England international would have arrived with a high reputation, having played nearly 250 games for Manchester City in his career.
During his time with Man City, Richards won the Premier League and the FA Cup.
But di Matteo stood firm and refused to let the centre-back – who could also play at right-back – join the Irons.
Micah Richards since summer 2016
West Ham failed with an August 31st bid for Richards but this has since proven to be a bullet dodged.
Richards has only played two games for Aston Villa in the two-and-a-half years since di Matteo shut the door on West Ham’s transfer plans.
Constant injury worries have held Richards back and he last played a competitive game in October 2016.
With the 30-year-old now set to retire from the game, West Ham will be thankful that Bilic’s transfer plan failed to materialise.