Tottenham chief Daniel Levy will be keen to sit down for talks with Antonio Conte to discuss the size of his pay-off as speculation persists that Spurs will sack the under-fire Italian boss. But there will be a necessity to keep things civil to avoid Spurs being taken to the cleaners after watching their rivals Chelsea empty their proverbial pockets in their compensation battle.
The 53-year-old is expected to leave the north London club before his contract expires in June after aiming an extraordinary rant at his Players following the 3-3 draw with Southampton, name-checking the club's ownership in his five-minute verbal artillery attack.
Nothing has been finalised yet, however, and it seems are still some fine details to iron out before Conte can leave.
One of which is a face-to-face meeting between the two parties to discuss how to frame his exit, and the other concerns the number that Spurs decide to part with in order to finally bid 'arrivederci' to Conte.
There will be a delay to such proceedings as Conte has flown back to Italy during the international break, despite the fact Spurs Players are still training at the club. His representatives and legal team will no doubt play a key role to protect Conte's interests, just as they did when he was dismissed by Chelsea six years ago.
Getting rid of Conte before the season ends will require Spurs to pay off the Italian, with Levy reportedly keen to end his reign after his damaging assessment of the club's failure to win silverware. Ryan Mason has already been lined up to take charge on an interim basis, while other long-term managerial candidates including former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Spain coach Luis Enrique have been heavily linked with the job.
But it could prove to be a costly exercise given that Conte is reportedly due £4m if his contract is terminated before its expiry. As a notoriously tough negotiator, Levy will be keen to pay as little as possible as he prepares for crunch talks.
Still, the £4m fee is significantly lower than what Chelsea were ordered to pay after losing their court battle against their former boss, who successfully sued for unfair dismissal in January 2020.
The former Juventus boss was sacked after two seasons in charge, despite winning the Premier League and FA Cup, after falling out with the board over transfer policy.
Conte only had 12 months remaining on his three-year deal, but a clause in his contract stipulated that he should be entitled to a certain fee in the event of its termination. Reports at the time suggested this was as high as £9m, but Chelsea were unwilling to shell out the fee given how relations had deteriorated between the club and manager.
Chelsea disputed paying the amount and Conte took them to an employment tribunal, winning an extra £85,000 on top of the agreed payout. Club accounts for the financial year ending June 30, 2019 showed that the west London club paid out a total of £26.6m in compensation and legal fees to Conte and his staff, making it the most expensive managerial sacking in football history.
Of course, Levy and the Tottenham board can avoid a similar outcome as Conte's contract has just over three months left to run and the situation may not be quite as dire.
But the longer the process drags out, the more painful the financial hit could prove to be - just as former Blues owner Roman Abramovich found out three years ago.