Mauricio Pochettino is now ‘free to join a new club’ following the expiration of a clause entitling Tottenham to compensation should he take a new role within six months of his departure.
Pochettino was ‘relieved of his duties’ by the north London side in November just months after guiding the club to a first-ever Champions League final, the Argentine replaced by Jose Mourinho following a disappointing start to the season.
Under the terms of his departure, which officially saw him placed on gardening leave, Spurs are continuing to pay his full £8.5 million-a-year salary and would have been entitled to compensation should the 48-year-old take on a new job within the first six months.
According to the London Evening Standard, the deadline has now passed and Pochettino is ‘free’ to negotiate with interested parties, two days after the Premier League season was originally scheduled to end.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers of the former defender, while Newcastle have recently emerged as a potential destination for Pochettino should he choose to remain in English football, reports suggesting the former Spurs boss the ‘number one choice’ for the club’s prospective new owners as takeover talks continue at St James’ Park.
The Magpies are nearing a £300m takeover by Saudi-backed consortium PCP Capital Partners, a deal which will catapult the North East side into the financial elite should it receive approval from the Premier League.
The consortium are believed to want a high-profile manager to usher in a new era, with Pochettino amongst a host of names reportedly being considered alongside the likes of Max Allegri, Lucien Favre and former Tyneside favourite Rafael Benitez.