Julen Lopetegui’s nightmare tenure as the manager of Real Madrid is over.
The Spaniard was relieved of his duties just one day after Real’s 5-1 defeat to Barcelona in El Clasico.
The result leaves Los Blancos ninth in La Liga and without a league win in five matches. A change was necessary.
Real Madrid B team coach Santiago Solari will step up to become interim boss for a two-week period.
Solari’s record with the B team is less than stellar. They’ve finished eighth and 11th in the Segunda B division in his two seasons in charge.
But a meeting against third-tier Melilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday represents a good opportunity to make a positive start.
Antonio Conte has been mentioned as potentially becoming the new permanent manager but there are conflicting reports as to whether that will now happen.
Spanish station Onda Cero have reported that the Italian will not be the new manager at the Bernabeu.
However, Marca claim that Conte’s arrival at Real has simply been slowed down by requests that he has made.
The 49-year-old has asked for a centre-back to fit in his favoured three-man defence.
And Conte also wants a poacher to become the sole striker in his starting line-up.
Marca claim Conte’s requirements would be hard to fulfil at the moment, causing his potential move to become complicated.
The report echoes the thoughts on Spanish football journalist Dermot Corrigan.
In fairness to Conte, the reigning European champions are calling out for a new striker right now.
It was always going to be a hard task to replace Cristiano Ronaldo but the efforts of his former teammates have been pretty miserable.
Karim Benzema is their leading scorer in all competitions with just four goals; the Frenchman has found the back of the net just once in his past 10 matches.
So Conte appears to be justified in his decision to ask for a new striker.
His system relies on having versatile defenders, too, so a new centre-back to join Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane would make sense.
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