Chelsea could end up in the High Court amid their ongoing legal battle with Antonio Conte over his severance package.
A Premier League managers' arbitration tribunal has now been appointed to rule on the matter, according to The Times.
There have been months of wrangling between Conte and Chelsea's respective legal teams, but both parties are yet to reach an agreement on the Italian's pay-off.
He was sacked by Chelsea in July, two years into his contract at Stamford Bridge and with a year left to run.
The dispute will now be put to a three-person tribunal, which is the first legal port of call for any ongoing issue around an employment contract.
Further disagreement and refusal to accept the ruling would see the judgement challenged in the High Court.
Conte's lawyers have argued he should be paid for the final year of his deal — which would be worth around £9million — unless he takes another job.