Revealed: The eye-watering amount Manchester United will have to pay to prise Mauricio Pochettino away from Tottenham
Manchester United will need to hand over close to €50m to buy Mauricio Pochettino and his backroom staff out of their contracts at Tottenham, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy determined to do all he can to keep his in-demand manager.
Pochettino has been heavily linked with the vacancy at United following Jose Mourinho's sacking on Tuesday, with the Argentine tactician who has yet to win a trophy in his coaching career side-stepping questions on his interest in the job at his latest press conference.
Even though he signed a new five-year contract at Tottenham last summer, United's decision to appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the club's interim manager until the end of this season suggests their top managerial target is currently employed by another club.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy rebuffed approaches from Real Madrid for Pochettino last summer, but it remains to be seen whether he would be tempted by an offer to follow in the footsteps of his idol Alex Ferguson by taking over at Manchester United.
Any attempt to lure Pochettino away from Tottenham would be expensive, with notoriously tough negotiator Levy certain to demand the full amount left on his manager's contract that runs until 2023, with his €9.5m-a-year salary adding up to €38m.
That would be a record fee for a manager and would shatter the €14.5m Chelsea paid to extract Andre Villas-Boas out of his contract at Porto in 2011, but the cash United would need to pay to acquire Pochettino would not stop there.
Pochettino has a close-knit coaching team consisting of Jesus Perez, Miguel D'Agostino and Toni Jiminez and he will want all three with him at United, with the fee to sign that trio likely to cost close to €11m as they all have long-term contracts with the north London club.
On top of the reported €25m windfall United will be forced to hand Mourinho following their decision to terminate his contract, Old Trafford chiefs may be look at a bill of around €74m to install Pochettino in his place.
Despite that extravagant financial outlay, United legend Gary Neville is among those who believes Pochettino is the man to breath fresh life back into a club that has yet to recover from the retirement of Alex Ferguson in 2013.
"I said last season that the next manager of United should be Mauricio Pochettino," Neville told Sky Sports. "When you look at the values of United, you look at his use of young players. You look at the way in which he carries himself publicly and in private. For me he just feels like the most ideal candidate.
"You look at his belief in young players at Southampton and Tottenham, his performance levels and style of play, the way he carries himself at all times publicly and in private and he seems to be the ideals candidate.
"People will say he hasn't won anything, but United have tried managers that won European Cups, they have tried managers that won multiple leagues, tried managers who have had that solid grounding in the Premier League.
"Now they need someone who meets the three key principles of that football club; the promotion of youth, entertaining football and to win football matches. At this moment in time, Pochettino is the outstanding candidate for that."
Pochettino does not have an agent and would conduct any negotiations with Tottenham chairman Levy, but it is far from certain that he will walk away from Spurs after stating his desire to lead the club into their new stadium, that is due to open in 2019.