Real Madrid have intensified negotiations with former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri after learning of Zinedine Zidane's desire to step down from his position this summer.
It emerged late on Wednesday that Zidane had finally communicated his decision to both his players and the boardroom at the Santiago Bernabeu, announcing that he plans to walk away with immediate effect.
The news didn't exactly come as a surprise, with most reports over the past month agreeing the end was coming and some even suggesting this decision had been made weeks ago, so Real have spent weeks searching for possible replacements and had bumped Allegri to the top of their wish list in case Zidane did leave.
Well, here we are. Zidane has left, even as we still await official confirmation, and according to AS, talks with Allegri have already stepped up and Real are ready to make the former Juventus man a formal offer to fulfil his dream of managing at the Bernabeu.
Allegri had been hit with offers from a number of Italian sides, including Inter and Roma, but he had rebuffed them all in the hope that he would get the chance to manage Real, and it appears as though that patience has paid off.
The decision to focus on Allegri comes after club officials decided that another candidate, academy boss Raul Gonzalez, would be better off remaining in the Castilla and continuing his development away from such an intense spotlight.
Another manager whose name has worked itself into the rumour mill is Antonio Conte, who left Inter just weeks after leading them to the Serie A title.
Marca claim Conte is an option, having been targeted to replace both Zidane and Julen Lopetegui back in the 2018/19 season, and Mundo Deportivo back that up as well, but AS insist the chances of Conte rocking up at the Bernabeu are slim.
Real have had their sights set on Allegri for weeks and are now prepared to put their plan into action. They want the former Juventus man and have already discussed the members of his backroom team that he would like to bring with him.
All the signs suggest a deal will be struck fairly smoothly with Allegri, but both Raul and Conte remain on the radar as emergency alternatives.