Newcastle would have to pay £12.5m in compensation to Tottenham were they to hire Mauricio Pochettino as manager before the end of the month, but could do so for free by waiting until June.
Pochettino has emerged as a reported target for the Magpies, who are soon to be under the control of new owners when a £300m takeover fronted by businesswoman Amanda Staveley and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is completed.
Incumbent boss Steve Bruce is not expected to keep his job under the new owners, whose ambition is thought to be turning Newcastle into a Champions League club.
It was reported by Sky Sports at the end of April that Pochettino is ‘first choice’ for the Magpies and could be paid as much as £19m per season to take on the challenge at St James’ Park.
The latest, according to ESPN, is that Newcastle would have to pay Pochettino’s former club Tottenham an estimated £12.5m in compensation if they appoint the Argentine this season – that is, up to 31 May – per the terms of his dismissal in November.
ESPN explains that the obligation to pay compensation stands for a six-month period after Pochettino was relieved of his duties by Spurs.
With the Premier League keen to resume the season at some point in June in order to complete the campaign by August, thereby minimising the knock-on effects of the delays, appointing Pochettino at the start of next month could still given him time to work with players before games begin.
The 48-year-old has previously been linked with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, although the chances of any of those jobs becoming available in the immediate future appear to have decreased in recent months.
Pochettino has also previously ruled himself out of ever joining Barcelona owing to his longstanding connections, both as a player and manager, with city rivals Espanyol.
The former Southampton boss also recently admitted that it is a ‘dream’ of his to return to Tottenham in the future to finish what he started, although he was unclear about a possible time frame and did not imply he intends that to be his next job.
As for Newcastle and the potential investment expected from the prospective new owners, it has been reported there could be an initial £200m cash injection to spend on everything from players to general infrastructure, with more to follow after a review in three years’ time.