The humiliating 5-1 defeat suffered by Real Madrid at the hands of their old rivals Barcelona at the Camp Nou yesterday has put the final nail in the coffin of manager Julen Lopetegui, according to El Pais.
The Spanish outlet report that the former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is set to wrap up negotiations with the club today ahead of an unveiling tomorrow.
According to the same paper, the club president Florentino Pérez took a hands-on approach to this recruitment process, having delegated to a degree during the summertime debacle that saw Lopetegui unveiled as a Merengues boss-to-be, losing him his role in charge of the Spain national team on the eve of the World Cup.
The Italian Conte is said to have been on the radar of Perez as far back as his trophy-laden stint at Juventus, and was on the list of names that the club drew up ahead of their search to replace the departed Zinedine Zidane in the summer.
Now, it seems, he’ll get his chance to take the reins at this famous old club. One of his would-be players has already expressed disquiet at the idea of his appointment, which is perhaps a less than perfect introduction.
The Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who worked under Conte at Chelsea, with reports last week claiming that he said that he “left London to not have to go through something like that again”, although he has refuted these claims.
Conte will not have time to waste with peace and reconciliation should he indeed land the job, though, with Real sitting tenth in the league table after their inauspicious start to the campaign.