'I do love City' - Richards

Fiorentina full-back Micah Richards feels he cannot return to parent club Manchester City as a player.

On-loan Fiorentina full-back Micah Richards still loves parent club Manchester City, and believes he would be captain of the Premier League champions if not for the takeover.

Richards, 26, returns to England on Thursday when his Serie A side face Tottenham in their UEFA Europa League last-32 first leg.

The defender is on a season-long loan at Fiorentina, having lost his place at right-back at City.

Richards believes it is near impossible for him to return to City as a player, but left the door open to one day being back in a different capacity.

"I do feel it is closed now at City for me unless Roberto Mancini got the job and wanted to bring me back in," he told The Telegraph.

"Wherever I go next, or stay at Fiorentina, I want to be first choice. It’s nothing to do with money. If it was for money, I'd have signed at City.

"I've been playing since I was 17 and until two years ago, I've always been first choice so not to be first choice is difficult to take.

"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."

Former City manager Stuart Pearce had said he wanted to see Richards one day become the club's captain.

Richards believes that would now be the case if City were not taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008.

"If we didn't get the investment we did, I'd probably be captain now," he said.

"I probably wouldn't have left. I had a chance to go to Chelsea five years ago, and Manchester United. But I didn't feel it was right.

"I always enjoyed City. They gave me a chance at such a young age.

"I've been a bit unfortunate because whenever I picked up some form I got a niggling injury. With City, if you get an injury you can find yourself out of the team for months."