Soccer-Champions Bayern sign defender Richards on free transfer

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German champions Bayern Munich on Thursday signed England youth international Omar Richards on a four-year deal to 2025, with the defender joining on a free transfer from English Championship side Reading.

The Bavarians, who have won nine consecutive league titles, had several defenders leave at the end of the season, including Jerome Boateng, David Alaba and Javi Martinez.

"My move to Bayern is a great honour for me. A dream has come true," Richards said in a club statement. "I am proud to be wearing the shirt of one of the world's biggest clubs. I hope I can help the team continue to be successful in the future."

Bayern have already signed central defender Dayot Upamecano from league rivals RB Leipzig and the 23-year-old Richards will be an option on the left side of the defence.

"We are happy he is coming to Bayern. Omar is a highly skilled player for the leftback position," Bayern sports director Hasan Salihamidzic said.

"He finds ways to go forward, he is focused and we are confident he will play a good role in our team."

The Bundesliga season starts in August.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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