Real Madrid are set to to turn towards Mauricio Pochettino as the priority option to replace Julen Lopetegui after snubbing former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.

According to a report by The Sun, Mauricio Pochettino is once again the first-choice option to become the next Real Madrid manager. Los Blancos have snubbed the opportunity to appoint former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as the replacement for under-fire boss Julen Lopetegui.

Mauricio Pochettino has become a hot property in the managerial world, having overseen Tottenham’s rapid rise in fortunes in recent seasons. Under his tutelage, Spurs have established themselves as one of the Premier League’s powerhouses but also regular fixtures in the Champions League.

His own advent as one of the most promising young tacticians has not gone unnoticed, with Real Madrid in particular keeping a close eye on his exploits with Tottenham. In fact, Pochettino was one of the targets for the European champions to replace Zinedine Zidane upon the Frenchman’s shock resignation in the summer.

Moving up the ladder to join Real Madrid? (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Moving up the ladder to join Real Madrid? (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Real Madrid though, ended up appointing Julen Lopetegui as their latest manager. But, the former Spain head coach has been unable to oversee a smooth transition, with his side going a month without a win, before they finally ended their poor run with a Champions League victory this week.

But, it is widely believed that failure to get all three points against Barcelona could end with Lopetegui being shown the exit door at the Bernabeu. To that end, Real Madrid have been scouring for possible options to replace the Basque coach, with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte reportedly in talks with them as well.

But, Conte no longer remains a candidate to take over the reigns in the Spanish capital. Instead, Real Madrid have turned their attention from the former Chelsea boss to Pochettino, who hasn’t quite enjoyed the best of starts to the season with Tottenham.

While Spurs are only two points off the top of the Premier League table, and level on points with London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal, they are on the verge of being eliminated from the Champions League. With Pochettino an unhappy man in the Tottenham dugout, Real Madrid are hoping he can be lured in to finally switch allegiances.

Prying the Argentine away from the Premier League heavyweights though, will be a tall order, as he only signed a five-year deal with them this past summer. It will be interesting to see how things develop in coming days, with the El Clasico result being crucial to Lopetegui’s future. For now, former Chelsea boss Conte is on the back burner, with Pochettino the priority.

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