Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell is "the worst mistake the club has made", says ex-striker Marco Gabbiadini.
Rodwell, 26, asked to leave the club and Sunderland have offered to cancel his £60,000-a-week contract, the Press Association reported on Monday.
His deal, which has 18 months left, does not include Sunderland's usual 40% wage reduction clause in the event of relegation.
"There was no safety valve in that contract whatsoever," said Gabbiadini.
"They took a punt on a player but the contract he had, there was no real contingency in it, was there?
Gabbiadini told BBC Newcastle that Rodwell's contract is "a massive liability that they've got to somehow get him out of".
Sunderland signed Rodwell from Manchester City in August 2014 for £10m.
The former Everton midfielder, capped three times by England, has made only 53 starts for the Black Cats, with only three league appearances coming this season.
|Jack Rodwell in focus|
|Made his Everton debut against AZ Alkmaar in December 2007, aged 16 years and 284 days - becoming the youngest player to represent Everton in Europe|
|Made 85 league appearances for the Toffees, scoring four times|
|Moved to Manchester City for £12m on a five-year deal in August 2012|
|Played just 16 league games for City in two seasons after struggling with a hamstring injury|
|Made his England debut in a 1-0 win over Spain in November 2011 and has since earned two more caps against Sweden and Brazil|
|Joined Sunderland in August 2014 for £10m|