Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is 2/5 to be next Crystal Palace manager less than 24 hours after overseeing the Magpies’ 3-2 victory over Everton.
The former-Eagles midfielder did little to ease speculation by skipping the post-match press conference at St James’ Park.
It’s a turn of events that have led many to question why Pardew, a figure of derision though he has often been on Tyneside, would trade in mid-table comfort for a relegation battle.
However, perhaps the more apposite question for those of a Newcastle persuasion is why the Magpies are allowing their manager to be pinched in the January window?
Surely it spells doom with so few obvious replacements working on their suntans and golf swings as we speak?
The answer may well be compensation.
January at St James’ Park is traditionally a time when the opportunity to make a profit is grasped with both hands regardless of the consequences.
The ‘Cockney Mafia’ are a syndicate who prefer rival sharks to make THEM offers they can’t refuse, selling Andy Carroll to Liverpool and Yohan Cabaye to Paris Saint-Germain in recent winter windows.
Pardew has five years remaining on an eight-year contract in the north east that has often seemed like a millstone round the club’s collective neck as he went unsacked through some long, ugly runs of poor form.
Allowing a desperate Palace side to buy out the deal for a fee reported to be in the region of £3.5m would kill two birds with one stone.
Newcastle can get rid of an unpopular manager, while receiving instead of dishing out compensation for the privilege.
They have 26 points on the board making them already more than halfway to safety according to the 40-point cliché.
With ten points in hand on the relegation zone’s current occupants cashing in on Pardew’s exit may well prove a calculated risk worth taking for the Magpies.