Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte could replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, according to reports.
Zidane’s future is uncertain following a disappointing season which saw Real surrender their La Liga crown to city rivals Atletico and crash out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage.
The Frenchman is out of contract at the Bernabeu this summer and fresh terms have yet to be agreed.
“We have given everything on the pitch and I am responsible for that,” he told reporters after Real’s final day win over Villarreal.
“But with time I will be calm and I will talk to the club, and in the next few days we will see.
“We will see what will happens shortly. Not only with me, with everything the club is going to do for the next season.”
Conte’s name has now as a serious contender for the job, with Italian journalist Tancredi Palmer labelling the rumours “concrete”.
The former Chelsea boss has just delivered Inter a first Scudetto since 2011, romping to the title by 12 points.
Although there are more credible options for the Bernabeu hotseat, the Italian is now seen as a viable alternative.
Real’s case for stealing Conte could be helped by the dire financial situation at the Serie A club.
Inter reportedly need to cut their wage bill by 20%, while they are also seeking to generate £86.5million in player sales.
That is a scenario unlikely to appeal to Conte, who is keen to splash the cash this summer and strengthen his side.
It is understood he will now meet president Steven Zhang in the coming days to discuss his future at the San Siro.
A mutual termination of his contract would cost the Italian an eye-water £5.2million – news to the ears of Real Madrid, who could get themselves a new manager without having to pay a penny.
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