Reading left-back Omar Richards is to join German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich this summer.
The 23-year-old, who joined Reading’s academy in 2014, made his debut in August 2017 and has gone on to make 106 appearances for the Championship club.
Richards, who rejected a new contract, will move as a free agent and has agreed a deal until 2025.
He will provide competition for Alphonso Davies at left-back as Bayern aim to bolster their defence.
David Alaba and Jerome Boateng have both left the six-time European champions after a ninth successive Bundesliga title, with highly-rated French central defender Dayot Upamacano moving to Bayern from RB Leipzig.
“My move to FC Bayern is a great honour for me,” Richards told the club’s website.
“A dream has come true. I’m proud to be wearing the shirt of one of the world’s biggest clubs,” he added.
Richards will wear the number three shirt at Bayern, suggesting he has not been signed merely as a squad player.
“Omar is a technically gifted player on the left side of defence,” Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said.
“He finds good solutions going forward, he’s very alert and we trust him to play a good role in our team.”
The next Sancho or Bellingham?
Richards joins a growing cohort of English players now plying their trade in Germany, headed by Borussia Dortmund duo Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham, who are in England’s provisional squad for Euro 2020.
Former Leicester City and England Under-21 forward Demarai Gray moved to Bayer Leverkusen in January, while former West Ham youngster Reece Oxford joined Augsburg permanently in 2019 after a loan stint at the club and two temporary spells at Borussia Monchengladbach.
RB Leipzig signed Ademola Lookman from Everton in July 2019, although he has spent the season on loan at Fulham, while former Everton youngster Antony Evans is on the books of Paderborn but spent the second half of the season on loan at Crewe Alexandra.
Last season Liverpool centre-back Nat Phillips gained valuable experience while on loan at Stuttgart and Everton full-back Jonjoe Kenny spent the season at Schalke.
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