MAURICIO POCHETTINO is officially free to sign for another club after his Spurs gardening leave came to an end on Monday.
The Argentine was axed by Tottenham in November and paid a £12.5million compensation package that included a clause not to manage another club for six months.
That time has now come to an end, meaning interested parties will not have to fork out any cash to secure Poch’s services.
Real Madrid are known to be long-time suitors of last year’s Champions League finalist.
And Manchester United have long been linked with Pochettino as a replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, it is Newcastle who are leading the charge for the talented tactician.
The fallen giants are on the verge of being taken over in a £300m deal by a Saudi-led consortium.
And they want Pochettino to replace current boss Steve Bruce with immediate effect.
Newcastle are ready to hand him an incredible £19m-a-year, a huge increase on the reported £8.5m he was earning at Spurs.
Poch will also be backed in the transfer window with a gargantuan war chest.
One player said to be top of Newcastle’s wish list is Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.
He is said to be interested in a move to St James’ Park.
But Newcastle will have to compete with Man Utd and Liverpool for the Senegalese superstar.