Hired in turmoil from Spain’s national team on the eve of the World Cup, things have yet to settle down for new Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui. His team have already dropped ten points in eight matches, an unsustainable rate in the top-heavy La Liga, and lost to CSKA Moscow in Europe. Real do not tolerate losing, especially after Zinedine Zidane guided the team to three Champions Leagues in a row, sandwiching a league title for good measure as well.
Lopetegui’s days are likely numbered, in what’s become a bit of a pan-European race to the bottom between him, Bayern’s Kovac, and Mourinho at Manchester United. First one to the sack gets Antonio Conte!
Actually, that’s not (just) a joke. As Europe’s most eligible coaching bachelor, Conte’s name is popping up with regularity. In fact, here’s ol’ Hot Days Pedullà with the latest, claiming that Real have enquired after Conte once again after the then still Chelsea coach denied them over the summer. This time, his answer just might be different.
Pedullà’s report quickly elbowed its way to the front (pages) as well — hashtag hustle!
Corriere dello Sport: Florentino Perez has contacted Antonio Conte to become the next Real Madrid manager. The coach would be willing to leave Italy to become Los Blancos manager. pic.twitter.com/A4fQV3WGMn— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) October 17, 2018
In the summer, Conte rejected Real’s advances as he was technically still employed by Chelsea. This loss of opportunity is in fact part of the legal wrangling that’s still going on between him and Chelsea over unpaid severance payments and poor business practices. The Blues are of course paying great attention here, as Conte getting hired at Real or wherever else, could have an impact on those unseemly legal matters, too, and speed along a possible settlement.