Antonio Conte is Real Madrid’s prime target to replace Zinedine Zidane as coach

Antonio Conte is Real Madrid’s prime target to replace Zinedine Zidane as coach.

After coming up short in their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino, Los Blancos have now turned their attentions to the Italian.

Conte is still in charge at Chelsea, although everything coming out of London suggests that he will not continue next season, so there should be no issues contractually.

As things stand at the moment, he is now first choice on Real’s list and is one of the few realistic options among European football’s premier coaches.

Conte guarantees intensity and a hard-working team and although last season was not a good one by Chelsea’s standards, he still ended it with a trophy in the form of the FA Cup.

With a year left on his contract, Conte hasn’t yet parted ways with Chelsea, who are still on the lookout for someone to replace him.

They came close to finding their man in Maurizio Sarri but pulled out of that move quite late due to concerns about certain off field and behavioural issues around the man who led Napoli to a second place finish in Serie A.

Chelsea would owe Conte about 20 million euros if they were to sack him and therefore, the Blues would welcome a saving in that regard.

He also complies with the profile sought by Real and interestingly, is also a former teammate of Zidane at Juventus, where he won a Champions League title during his playing career.

After retiring, he devoted himself to coaching and had a nomadic early career with the likes of Arezzo, Bari, Atalanta and Siena.

He joined Juve in 2011.

Conte led the side to three consecutive Scudetti before surprisingly walking out in the summer of 2014 to take over the Italian national team.

He took them to the quarterfinal of Euro 2016, and after defeating Spain, they were beaten by Germany on penalties.

From there, the Italian joined the Blues and won the Premier League in his debut campaign.

Last season, he was unable to lead them back into the Champions League, with Barcelona eliminating them from that tournament at the last 16 phase.