It is understood Villa have offered the 26-year-old an opportunity to revive his career in the Barclays Premier League.
Richards won two league titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup with City but last featured for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in a home defeat to Wigan in March 2014. Losing FA Cup finalists Villa, now managed by Tim Sherwood, are keen to bolster their defensive options after conceding 57 league goals during the 2014-15 season – a campaign which saw them escape relegation by only three points.
Meanwhile Villa captain Fabian Delph will not try and convince Christian Benteke to remain at the club this summer.
Benteke, 24, has a £32.5million release clause in his contract and has been linked with a host of clubs including the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United.
With Villa struggling for goals throughout the rest of the team, Delph admits it would be a huge blow to lose the former Genk striker – but said he will not try and talk him into staying at Villa Park.
“It would have a big effect,” he said on the potential sale of Benteke.
“He is a great player, world-class in my opinion, a good lad to have around as well. It would be a big loss. He scores a lot of goals. I wouldn’t try to convince anybody. Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions. If they have a chance to move on and better themselves, I can’t tell them not to do that.”