Real Madrid players have agreed on who they want to replace Julen Lopetegui 3 years ago

Real Madrid players have agreed on who they want to replace Julen Lopetegui

This looks increasingly likely

Real Madrid are well and truly in the midst of a crisis. For supposedly the biggest club in the world, recent form has been unacceptable. A run of five matches without a win before this week's Champions League tie against Viktoria Plzen has left them in seventh place in LaLiga, leaving manager Julen Lopetegui on the brink of being sacked.

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He will remain in charge for this weekend's Clásico, but a loss would almost certainly spell the end of his short-lived reign at the Santiago Bernabeu. Rumours have begun to circulate around the media, with José Mourinho linked with a return to the club he left in 2013.

Mourinho is reportedly keen on the idea, and is waiting to be dismissed by Manchester United in order to get that sweet pay-off money.

The Real Madrid players have different ideas though. According to Edu Aguirre - the first journalist to report that Cristiano Ronaldo would leave Madrid for Juventus - the dressing room are united in their preference for Antonio Conte.

Conte left Chelsea after a two year spell at Chelsea at the end of last summer and is one of the only elite managers currently out of work. His meticulous attention to detail when it comes to team shape could be exactly what Madrid need right now to shore up their back line and put more structure into their attacking play.

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Former Real Madrid player and current manager of Real Madrid Castilla (their B team) has been linked with a promotion to the first team job, with the vision of him steering the ship until the end of the season before a permanent manager is handed the keys to the Bernabeu.

But the players are understood to be more keen on Conte coming in now, before things go from bad to worse.