Real Madrid considering Antonio Conte amid Julen Lopetegui rumours
Real Madrid are reportedly considering former Chelsea and Italy manager Antonio Conte as a possible replacement for under-pressure Julen Lopetegui.
According to Marco Ruiz of AS, while Lopetegui is safe for now despite a rotten run of form for the European champions, they are considering alternatives and Conte's name is said to be in the picture at the Santiago Bernabeu.
"When the Italian's candidacy was looked at by Real in the summer, there were voices in the Bernabeu boardroom who felt his strict management style would clash with a dressing room full of egos," said Ruiz. "Now, however, that is looking more like a pro than a con for Real chiefs."
In the report, it's added that Santiago Solari, who is the manager of the Real Madrid Castilla team, is also being considered by the club.
According to Ruiz, while Lopetegui is not facing an imminent axe, the upcoming Clasico showdown with Barcelona on October 28 will be key to determining whether or not he stays on in the Spanish capital.
Per Ruiz, the match at the Camp Nou represents "a point of no return" with key figures in the Los Blancos hierarchy realising "there is an acceptance that they must also be prepared for the worst."
Fresh doubt was cast over Lopetegui's position at the club following Madrid's 1-0 loss to Alaves on Saturday in La Liga. Per Miguel Delaney of the Independent, he made a massive career decision in the summer:
The worry for Madridistas will not only be the poor results but also that in the last four games they have not been able to find the back of the net.
Conte is a manager of major pedigree and is currently out of work after being let go by Chelsea in the summer.
While he was given his marching orders by the Blues, the Italian has enjoyed so many successes as a manager. In his last season with the London club, he won the FA Cup and in the season before he steered Chelsea to a dominant Premier League title win.
The exuberant 49-year-old also did well to steer Italy to the quarter-finals of the UEFA European Championship in 2016 and guided Juventus to three Serie A titles as a manager.