Mourinho has a big contract at Old Trafford but failure to be in the Champions League could make shafting the out-of-favour Portuguese a whole lot easier
The Red Devils’ top brass are in agreement that the Tottenham boss is the only contender to replace the out-of-favour Jose Mourinho next summer.
However, his saving grace has been that it would be too expensive to sack him.
But according to The Sun, there is a clause in the Portuguese’s contract that means it will cost United less to sack him if they are not in the Champions League.
They are ready to do battle with Real Madrid for Pochettino, 46, and despite the current turmoil, United believe they can sell the Argentine a more attractive proposition.
United have done business with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy in the past after buying Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov in 2006 and 2008 respectively.
Pochettino is determined to lead the north London club into their new stadium in the New Year and signed a five-year, £8m-a-season deal just last summer.
It is understood he turned down the United job in 2016 when they relieved Louis van Gaal of his duties but that has not put off executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
The 13-time Premier League winners are already 18 points behind leaders Manchester City in the table.
Meanwhile, Spurs have finished in the top four in three successive seasons under Pochettino, who joined them from Southampton in 2014.
However, Pochettino has spoken publicly about Spurs’ need to invest in fresh blood which was not given to him last summer after Spurs failed to recruit a single player in the transfer window.