Newcastle United are hoping the lure of regular first team football will be enough to convince Micah Richards to quit Manchester City in January.

The 25 year old has had a difficult 12 months with a mixture of injuries and simply being out of favour under Roberto Mancini limiting him to just seven league appearances in the entire 2012/13 season.

Richards would have hoped for a fresh start under new boss Manuel Pellegrini but injuries again prevented him from being available for selection in the early stages of the season before returning to action in the 5-0 win over Wigan in the League Cup.

However, he has yet to feature in the league this season and struggled in his one start in the Champions League as Bayer Munich secured an emphatic 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.

Now the Sun reports that Newcastle are hoping to convince the powerful defender to make the move to the north east where he is more likely to find regular game time.

Richards has two years remaining on his £60,000-a-week contract with Manchester City and Pellegrini is said to be keen to keep hold of the versatile defender as he offers cover at right-back and in the centre of defence.

The England defender is believed to want assurances of regular first team action from the former Malaga manager but it is unlikely he would be guaranteed regular action with Pablo Zabaleta the preferred option at right-back.

He has also struggled to convince various managers that he can operate as a central defender with Vincent Kompany, Jolean Lescott and Matija Nastasic firmly ahead of him in the pecking order at City.

Newcastle will hope that Richards would rather move to a club where he would have a better chance of regularly featuring, though he would be up against France international Mathieu Debuchy for a regular berth at right-back.

Richards was once considered one of the brightest prospects at Manchester City when he burst onto the scene back in early 2006 and played some 29 league games the season they won their first Premier League title.

But it has been a difficult period for the defender and he may well be forced to leave the club in order to get his career back on track.