Well this escalated quickly. What started off as a rumour based on betting lines has become a confirmation in the Mirror: Aston Villa have signed former Manchester City and England defender Micah Richards. Tim Sherwood apparently convinced Richards to eschew £90,000 per week wages at Sunderland to play for Villa on wages of £65,000 per week. While that number is definitely high (I believe it would be the highest at Villa. Certainly in the top-3), when you consider the fact that there is no transfer fee involved, it's not crazy.* That means
If I had to guess, given the success had by Ciaran Clark and Jores Okore last season, Richards will probably start as a right back but provide depth in the center. Of course, we're still waiting on official confirmation from the club, but this deal looks to be the first not-contractually-obligated (read: Scott Sinclair) business of the summer.
*Maths digression: If we're to assume a one-year deal with a transfer fee of £2 million (what I'd expect to pay for Richards), this would be the equivalent of that on £27,000 per week wages. Remember: though we report them differently, wages and fee are all part of the lump sum going to a player.
Another way to think of it is that this deal is worth £3.3 million per year to Richards. Multiply this our by however many years the contract ends up being, subtract whatever you think would have been a fair transfer fee, and then calculate the wages from there. I get the fear of high wages that still lingers from the MON days (my gut reaction was to not like this), but when you factor in the fact that this is a free transfer, these wages are not crazy.