Real Madrid are reportedly going to sack coach Julen Lopetegui after their 5-1 humiliation by arch-rivals Barcelona and replace him with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
Lopetegui’s record of four wins, two draws and four defeats has left Real Madrid languishing ninth in the La Liga standings, seven points behind leaders Barca after yesterday’s Clasico humiliation.
It’s been a bizarre months for the 52-year-old Lopetegui who was sacked by Spain on the eve of this year’s World Cup after it emerged he had accepted the position at the Bernabeu to replace the departed Zinedine Zidane.
And after making the worst start by any Real Madrid coach in the last 70 years, club President Florentino Perez is set to wield the axe once again.
Lopetegui’s situation has drawn sympathy from the media, with sports daily Marca’s front page reading “It is not only Julen’s fault”.
AS editor Alfredo Relano criticised the club for failing to replace “the 50 goals a season that Madrid are currently missing in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo”.
Following a summer of courting Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham, media reported that Perez has shifted his attention to Conte, who was still employed by Chelsea when Lopetegui was appointed.
The Italian, who won the Premier League in his first season with Chelsea after winning three successive Serie A titles with Juventus, was fired by the London club in July.
Spanish media report that reserve team coach Santiago Solari is likely to take charge of the team for the midweek Copa del Rey meeting with Melilla.
Conte will likely make his La Liga bow in Saturday’s home game against Valladolid.