November 28, 2020

Conte set to replace Lopetegui at Real

October 18, 2018
Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte is in line to become the next Real Madrid, Julen Lopetegui manager if Chelsea is able to agree with one thing.

Conte was sacked by Chelsea in the summer and replaced by Maurizio Sarri, but is yet to reach a compensation agreement.

Sarri has been in the job since pre-season and has Chelsea flying at the top of the Premier League.

But Conte remains out of work and is now among the favourites to take over at Real Madrid with Julen Lopetegui struggling after replacing Zinedine Zidane.

And the Daily Mirror claim Conte could be the man Real Madrid turn to should they sack the former Spain boss.

But his appointment would depend on Chelsea finally agreeing a settlement with Conte for his dismissal – or the Italian walking away from what he would be owed.

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Madrid are said to have spoken to Conte’s people about his availability in case things get worse with Lopetegui, who has won just half of his first eight La Liga games.

But Conte remains in a legal battle with Chelsea over the remainder of his contract.

Conte feels he was sacked unfairly having led the Blues to the title in his first season and the FA Cup in his second, but Chelsea are digging their heels over a pay off.

Conte’s final season at Chelsea was a difficult one with talk of broken relations between him and the board.

He wanted greater backing in the transfer market after winning the title and voiced his discontent publicly.

Chelsea were also annoyed with Conte’s handling of Diego Costa, who he essentially sacked by text message last summer.

Costa then refused to return to the club and was finally sold to Atletico Madrid, but Chelsea believe he would have been worth more had Conte not told him he wasn’t in his plans.

Conte was expected to be sacked straight after the FA Cup final win over Manchester United but ended up taking some of the first pre-season session as the situation descended into farce.

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He was finally dismissed on July 13 with a 61-word statement under a month before the start of the new season.

It meant when Sarri was appointed on the same day he had little time to prepare his players for the campaign – particularly those like Eden Hazard who had been at the World Cup.

However Sarri has managed to guide Chelsea to 20 points from eight games and has them level with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the league.

They face Manchester United on Saturday as former boss Jose Mourinho comes back looking to save his job.

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