By Harvey Byrne

West Ham have had an initial offer to take Micah Richards on a season-long loan deal rejected, according to a reliable journalist.

Dominic King, a football reporter for the Daily Mail, has claimed on his personal Twitter account that the Premier League side have seen their bid rejected and now Aston Villa are awaiting their next move.

The former England international has only featured in the Capital One Cup defeat against Luton in the new campaign and he will be keen to make a return to the Premier League.

Birmingham-born Richards moved to Aston Villa on a free transfer last summer after his contract at Manchester City expired.

The versatile defender still has three years left on his Villa Park contract, but he has found himself behind new signings Tommy Elphick and James Chester in the club’s pecking order.

Richards won the Premier League with Manchester City in 2012 and 2014 and Slaven Bilic may be looking to add more experience to his defence.

The senior figure, who can also cover the right-back position as well as his more natural centre-back role, may look like an attractive prospect to the Croatian manager, as he looks to provide better cover for Sam Byram than attacker Michail Antonio.

In other West Ham transfer news, Jack Sullivan has given Hammers fans hope of securing another signing this summer.