Real Madrid are reportedly in contact with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to replace under-fire incumbent boss Julen Lopetegui.

Corriere dello Sport are claiming that Real Madrid have established contact with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who is without a job since parting ways with the Blues in the summer. Current boss Julen Lopetegui is under severe pressure to keep his job after a stuttering start to the season.

The Julen Lopetegui era had begun well enough, following the disappointing loss to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, winning five of their first six games. But, things have gone spiralling out of control since then, as Los Blancos limped into the latest international break, losing three of their last four games.

To make matters more concerning, Real Madrid have not scored a goal in nearly seven hours of football, with the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo being felt dearly. The poor results though, is putting considerable pressure on Lopetegui, whose job is far from secure now. So much so, that several candidates have been linked as the Spaniard’s successor, the latest being former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

The end may be near for Lopetegui. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The end may be near for Lopetegui. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Conte has built up a reputation for being a success hungry manager, having guided Juventus to five trophies during his three-year stint in Turin. He then followed up that success by stabilising a stuttering Italian national side before making an instant impact at Chelsea.

The Blues had finished 10th in the season that was followed by Conte’s appointment, but the Italian ended up inspiring them to a popular Premier League triumph. Things did turn sour in the campaign that followed. But, despite an impending acrimonious exit, Conte first ensured Chelsea lifted the FA Cup.

Before he departed from Stamford Bridge, Conte was even linked with the vacant Real Madrid job, after Zinedine Zidane had called it quits at the Bernabeu. In the end though, Julen Lopetegui was appointed instead of the former Chelsea manager. But, cracks are beginning to appear in the dressing room, which is only compounding the uncertainties for the former Spain head coach.

Lopetegui now has three games to save his job, as per the report by Corriere dello Sport, with the match against Barcelona being the most crucial in his short Real Madrid stint. A loss at Camp Nou might just be the final straw, paving the way for former Chelsea boss Conte to take charge in his stead.

If Conte indeed ends up joining Real Madrid, his ability to make an instant impact may come in handy for Los Blancos, who are still in touch with Barcelona in the La Liga title race despite their recent setbacks. As things stand, Lopetegui needs results to keep his job, starting with Levante this weekend.

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