Former Chelsea boss favourite to succeed Julen Lopetegui if he is sacked by Real Madrid
It's not looking good for Real Madrid
Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui is on the brink of being sacked after just 12 matches in charge, having not secured a win in their last five games.
Lopetegui was hired after Zinedine Zidane stepped down at the end of last season, safe in the knowledge that he had achieved everything he could with the current crop of players.
The timing of the announcement could not have been worse, though. Real Madrid announced the news just two days before Lopetegui was set to lead Spain into the 2018 World Cup, which led to the Spanish FA dismissing him and hiring Fernando Hierro as a quick fix.
And one would suspect that Lopetegui now regrets the decision to take the Madrid job, as he has not managed to guide the club through their transitional period and keep them near the top of the league.
Saturday's home defeat to Levante will likely be the final nail in his coffin, although Madrid may delay the announcement until after next weekend's Clásico to avoid going into the game managerless.
But the clock is ticking, and Madrid are on the lookout for a potential replacement. Florentino Perez has very few options, having hired most of the football managing elite at some point or another, and with the likes of Mauricio Pochettino tied down to long contracts.
Antonio Conte, however, is currently available and is the current favourite to take over at the Bernabeu after Madrid cut ties with Lopetegui.
According to FootballItalia, Conte is 'waiting in the wings, and cite a report from Spanish newspaper El Pais that he was contacted by the club on October 2nd, immediately after Madrid's loss to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.
Conte's attention to detail and focus on shape would likely have a huge impact on a Real Madrid side currently in freefall, struggling to adapt to life without Cristiano Ronaldo.