Manchester United could face a bill of around £29m should they decide to pay off Jose Mourinho in the next few weeks, according to reports.
The Daily Mirror claims that the Portuguese manager and his legal team would demand that the entirety of his £14.5m base contract, which expires in 2020, is paid up, as well as other potential payments which could end up doubling the fee, should the club decide to cut ties prematurely.
Reports circulated that the club were set to axe Mourinho no matter what happened in Saturday's fixture with Newcastle, but United secured a dramatic 3-2 win after being 2-0 down at the break, and his position is still seemingly secure.
While the financial repercussions could be one reason the club are sticking with Mourinho for the time being - the reported fee drastically falls to £10m if the club fail to finish in the Champions League positions this season - it's difficult to imagine that Man Utd would refuse to pay up in any case if they felt it was the best course of action.
Another explanation offered up by the Mirror is that United are not convinced there is a viable replacement to Mourinho currently available.
Zinedine Zidane is the name hot on fans' lips, but there are reported concerns among the club higher ups that although he won three Champions Leagues on the bounce with Real Madrid, he doesn't have the required managerial experience to turn United's fortunes around in a league in which he has never managed.
Man United fans posing with a cardboard cutout of Zinedine Zidane outside Old Trafford pic.twitter.com/u02RmFEwoq— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) October 6, 2018
Mauricio Pochettino is the other name frequently talked about in relation to the job, but it seems unlikely that he would leave Spurs for United in their current respective positions, and equally so that United would cough up the surely stratospheric compensation figure.