The News of the World says a dramatic intervention by owner Thaksin Shinawatra saw City agree to the England defender's £50,000-a-week demands.

City insider said: "It will be signed within a fortnight. Micah's advisers pointed out he could easily get that money from Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool.

"Dr Thaksin stepped in and he made it clear Micah should be kept happy - and under no circumstances should he be allowed to move.

"Boss Sven Goran Eriksson sees him as a player to build around for years to come."

Richards has always insisted he is happy to remain at City and is determined to play his part in the club's resurgence under the new regime.