Real Madrid

Real Madrid open talks with Mauricio Pochettino & Antonio Conte

Tom Gott
Real Madrid want either Conte or Pochettino
Real Madrid want either Conte or Pochettino / Michael Regan/Getty Images

In their quest to find a replacement for Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid have now opened talks with PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino and former Inter boss Antonio Conte.

Zidane informed Real on Wednesday of his desire to step down, after which Real stepped up talks with initial top-target Massimiliano Allegri, who has since agreed to return to former side Juventus as a replacement for Andrea Pirlo.

Massimiliano Allegri
Allegri has turned Real down / Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Now looking for a new top target, Real have cast their net far and wide. ABC recently revealed that their top-three targets are now Pochettino, Conte and academy boss Raul Gonzalez, and it seems as though Real are seriously exploring all their options as talks have been held with all three.

Beginning with Pochettino, Goal state the Argentine is Real's preferred target this summer and it has been made clear to the PSG chief there is a spot open for him at the Santiago Bernabeu if he can free himself from his contract in Paris.

Pochettino has publicly admitted he dreams of managing Real one day and is understood to be incredibly interested in making the move now, but he would have to do so at the expense of former employers Tottenham Hotspur, who have also held talks with the Argentine.

Mauricio Pochettino
Real & Tottenham have spoken with Pochettino / John Berry/Getty Images

The only downside to hiring Pochettino is he still has one year remaining on his contract in Paris, and if he cannot get out of that deal, he may be unattainable, and that's why Mohamed Bouhafsi suggests Real have met with Conte.

Conte is currently a free agent after walking away from Serie A champions Inter and would therefore be a simpler target than Pochettino.

The Real hierarchy are known to be huge fans of Conte, who they pursued twice in the 2018/19 season as a replacement for Zidane and then his successor, Julen Lopetegui, and they appear to hope that the third time will be the charm.

Antonio Conte
Real have targeted Conte in the past / MIGUEL MEDINA/Getty Images

It seems as though Real are keen to evaluate all their options in depth in an attempt to work out which boss would be the best fit for a side in need of a desperate rebuild from top to bottom.

The option of promoting Raul, who has impressed with the Castilla, would be the simplest one, but the legendary former striker obviously does not come with the same managerial reputation as Pochettino or Conte.

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