Defender Richards seemed to have no prospects at Eastlands under Mark Hughes after failing to impress the former manager during his 18 months at the helm.
But while City could find buyers in Tottenham and Aston Villa this month, Mancini will give Richards another opportunity to rediscover the form that saw him play for England two years ago.
Show me what you've got: Roberto Mancini wants Spurs target Micah Richards to prove himself again at City
Speaking ahead of Monday's Barclays Premier League game at home to Blackburn,Mancini said: 'How could I afford to lose Micah? We have only four fit defendersanyway and I rate him very highly. He has played for England and has great potential. It is important that he stays.'
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