Aston Villa defender Micah Richards could have his wages doubled in the summer, even though he has not kicked a ball for the club all season, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claims that Richards, 29, is earning £35,000-a-week to sit well on the fringes of the Villa squad, but he could be earning up to £70,000-a-week next season should the West Midlands club earn promotion to the Premier League.
It is understood that talks are scheduled for the summer, with it likely that Steve Bruce will want to ensure that a player who he has constantly overlooked this season does not get a stupendous payrise.
The former Manchester City defender has only been named in the matchday squad by Bruce one one occasion this term when he was an unused substitute in the EFL Cup defeat to Middlesbrough in September.
The Mail reports that Richards has held several meetings with Bruce about his lack of football, but his professionalism and hunger to get over his knee problems have been exemplary.
Football Insider verdict
Aston Villa simply cannot allow Richards to earn such a ridiculous amount. He is already earning a large sum every week for just turning up to training and taking part in the odd game behind closed doors at Bodymoor Heath. Richards was captain of the club in their relegation from the Premier League and while he was by no means the worst player that year, he was someone who should have been swiftly moved on in the following summer. But with his high wages and constant injury woes it seems that he is stuck at Villa Park until his deal expires in 2019.
In other Aston Villa news, England legend Paul Gascoigne hit out at Bruce on Twitter for his claim about this Villa first teamer.