Rafa Benitez could "walk away" from his Newcastle United contract, according to a report.
Benitez's representatives are discussing his future with the club's hierarchy.
Newcastle's manager – who has been offered a new deal by owner Mike Ashley – wants assurances on a number of issues, notably transfer funds.
Benitez is on West Ham United's managerial shortlist in the wake of David Moyes' departure from the London Stadium.
The 58-year-old has a £6million release clause in his contract. However, the Daily Mail report that he could leave without paying that severance penalty as his lawyers "believe he has a case for constructive dismissal".
West Ham's No 1 target is former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who is in charge of Hebei China Fortune.
Co-owner David Sullivan said: "We are preparing to appoint a manager who has a proven record of success at the highest level of the game.”
Sullivan came close to appointing Benitez as manager before he joined Real Madrid in 2015.
Benitez, meanwhile, wants to stay at Newcastle. The club ended the season in 10th place, and Benitez feels, with the right backing, that he can take the team even further up the Premier League table.