The race for Chris Richards is heating up. Three Spanish clubs have expressed interest in the highly ranked American, who is also wanted by Southampton and Crystal Palace.
According to CBS Sports sources, the two Premier League teams are leading the race, but there is growing expectation that they will face the biggest challenge yet from La Liga. Three teams in the top half of the division, one of which is Valencia, have shown interest in the Bayern Munich centre-back. Clubs in France and Germany are also keeping an eye on the 22-year-old.
Bayern are ready to sanction a permanent sale of Richards, but only for a significant fee believed to be around $15.8m (€15m). They are also debating whether to include a buyout clause if they agree to sell, the sources say. By bringing him on loan from Dallas in 2018 and then signing him permanently the following year for $1.5 million, the Bundesliga champions could make a significant profit from Richards, who made 10 appearances for the club.
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Richards spent last season on loan at Hoffenheim, playing in all three Bundesliga matches he was available for as he struggled with foot and hamstring injuries. A permanent move away from Bayern will help his bid for a spot and a starting spot in Gregg Berhalter’s plans for the winter World Cup. Since his debut in 2020, Richards has won 10 caps but missed his most recent international break due to injury.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhutl is looking to bolster a defense that conceded 67 goals last season and while Crystal Palace aren’t exactly as structurally challenged, manager Patrick Vieira has spoken of his desire to have a more versatile squad next season that could see Richards fit into the back three alongside Joachim Andersen and Mark Gahey. Meanwhile, Valencia has long been a fan of the American player and has previously expressed interest in a loan move in 2020.