Steve McClaren would cost Newcastle United £2m in compensation if they decided to go for him in the summer.
The Telegraph report that the Derby County manager would attract that compensation package if United decided he is the ideal candidate for the job.
McClaren signed a new three contract only last summer and is highly thought of at Pride Park.
The former England manager got his first coaching break at Derby back in 1995 as assistant to Jim Smith, winning instant promotion to the Premier League.
McClaren built a strong reputation as a coach and on the back of that landed the job as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Derby look destined for the play-offs and whilst promotion to the Premier League would surely rule out any move to Tyneside, failure to do so would potentially make any Newcastle move for him attractive…depending on the job description Mike Ashley might give him.
Typical of Mike Ashley, a compenation package of £2m would even see the Newcastle United owner out in front, having nanked a reported £3m from Crystal Palace for the services of Alan Pardew.