Sven calm on Richards deal

City boss confident defender will sign contract

By James Pearson.   Last Updated: 27/12/07 9:46am

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Richards: In talks

Richards: In talks

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Sven Goran Eriksson remains confident Micah Richards will pen a new Manchester City contract, despite delays surrounding the deal.

The club are reportedly close to agreeing a fresh £46,000-a-week contract with the England international, although legal issues involving former agents are believed to be delaying the process.

Richards still has over two years remaining on the four-year deal he penned in July 2006, but Eriksson wants the 19-year-old to commit his long-term future to the big-spending Eastlands outfit.

Not worried

"I don't know the reason for the delay but I'm not worried about the contract," said Eriksson.

"I think he will play at this club for many, many years, maybe - hopefully, for the rest of his career, which is many years.

"I don't know everything about the negotiations, but from the figures I heard, it's a good contract, it has to be but Micah's happy, he was a born happy, he's a happy man."

See Richards in action live when Manchester City host Blackburn on Thursday evening live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD.

Johnson worry

Eriksson has also admitted he is concerned about Michael Johnson's abdominal problem.

The England Under 21 international had surgery on the injury in November before returning against Tottenham earlier this month.

However, he is now back on the sidelines after complaining of similar pains in a slightly different area.

Johnson will not feature against Blackburn and Eriksson concedes he will have to be nursed back to full fitness.

"Michael has had a scan and the specialists say where he was operated on is not a problem because this injury is higher up," said the Swede.

"But yes, we are a bit worried that it came back and we hope it will not be there for long.

"Probably he cannot play two games a week yet. Instead, he has to work more on core stability and things like that."

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