Julen Lopetegui was at risk of losing his job at Real Madrid even before watching his side’s devastating 5-1 loss at the hands of Barcelona.
The Spaniard’s brief tenure in charge at the Bernabeu has been nothing short of terrible, with Real currently sitting ninth in La Liga.
Los Blancos have failed to win in their last five league matches and their goal difference through 10 matches is zero.
So it seems to be a matter of when, not if, Lopetegui is relieved of his duties.
Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was in the running to replace the 52-year-old but according to Goal, the deal has stalled.
Real Madrid’s discussions with Chelsea over compensation for Conte’s release have hit a snag and, while the Italian is still believed to be the first choice to replace Lopetegui, it remains to be seen whether it’s possible now.
In the meantime, reserve team boss Santiago Solari could become the interim boss, with his first game possibly coming against Melilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
Real Madrid players' preferred choice
But the players have know who they want to come in - and it’s not Conte.
According to Sport, the dressing room is keen for the club to make a push to bring Zinedine Zidane back.
The Frenchman guided the Spanish club to three Champions League trophies in successive years but left the club at the end of last season.
The players would prefer to see an attempt to re-appoint Zidane instead of hiring Conte.
However, Sport add that Zidane’s return is ‘impossible’.
The 46-year-old doesn’t wish to come back to the Bernabeu, and Real president Florentino Perez refuses to take him back.
So the players will have to get used to another manager’s methods.
The report claims they are perplexed by how the club are preparing for Lopetegui’s exit.
Depending on how negotiations with Chelsea regarding Conte go, Los Blancos could be without a permanent manager for some time.
How they wish they could start the season all over again.News Now - Sport News