Manchester United face paying out £24 million if they decide to sack Jose Mourinho before the end of the season, according to reports.
Mourinho's future is in fresh doubt after United were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
United have now suffered their worst start to a league campaign since 1990 and are 19 points behind Liverpool in the table.
In recent years, United gave time to both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal to reverse the club's fortunes.
And Mourinho may be afforded a few more months to improve United's situation given how much it will cost the club to get rid of the Portuguese and appoint a replacement.
According to the Daily Record, United will have to pay in the region of £24m if they decide to sack him before January.
That £24m fee would be reduced to £18m if United fail to qualify for next season's Champions League while Mourinho is still in charge.
Mourinho, meanwhile, signed a new contract with United in January which keeps him at the club until 2020.
And earlier this season, Mourinho even pointed out that United are in an expensive predicament with his situation.
'They say I'm in danger, but I don't think it,' Mourinho told Gazzetta dello Sport in September.
'If they send me away, do you have any idea how much money they would have to give me?'