- Premier League
Pochettino faces £2m bill to leave Southampton
Mauricio Pochettino will have to pay Southampton £2 million if he leaves the club to take over the vacant manager's position at Tottenham Hotspur, thanks to an unusual clause in his contract.
Spurs sacked manager Tim Sherwood on Tuesday, with reports suggesting that chairman Daniel Levy was forced to act over fears that some of the club's biggest stars would leave if the former player kept his job.
Southampton boss Pochettino has emerged as one of the front-runners to succeed Sherwood, but the Daily Telegraph reports that the Argentine faces a hefty personal bill if he is to leave St Mary's Stadium due to a unique element of his contract.
Under terms agreed with former executive chairman Nicola Cortese, Pochettino has to pay the club the outstanding amount if he breaks his contract early. With 12 months left to run on a £2m a year deal, Pochettino could be left significantly out of pocket if he moves to White Hart Lane.
Levy, a notoriously shrewd negotiator, is unlikely to be impressed with any attempts by Pochettino to secure a large signing on fee to offset the losses he would make in leaving Southampton.
But Pochettino is understood to be keen to talk to Tottenham amid fears that his Southampton side will lose several of the star performers who led them to eighth place in the Premier League last season.
Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana, both named in England's World Cup squad, are already subject to bids from Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, while key men such as Rickie Lambert, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez all impressed as Southampton finished eight points behind Manchester United.
While Pochettino remains one of the favourites to take charge at Tottenham, Levy has made a check on the situation of Ajax boss Frank de Boer. Everton's Roberto Martinez is also thought to be among the candidates to replace Sherwood after an impressive first season at Goodison Park.