Talk is hotting up that Real Madrid are set to make a change of manager, with Antonio Conte reportedly the leading candidate to replace Julen Lopetegui.
It’s been a terrible start to 2018/19 for Los Blancos, who were dealt the blow of Zinedine Zidane stepping down as manager at the end of last season, before then also selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer transfer window.
MORE: Antonio Conte Real Madrid – latest updates
Goal now report Lopetegui could be sacked today, following Real’s 5-1 El Clasico defeat to Barcelona on Sunday, with Conte expected to replace him.
Unsurprisingly, there’s also already been talk of who the Italian tactician could sign for his new club, with one link with a raid on his former club Chelsea sure to be the first of many.
The player in question is €100million-rated Blues midfielder N’Golo Kante, as per Don Balon, with the commanding French star also one of Conte’s first signings when he moved to Stamford Bridge in 2016.
On top of that, Don Balon are also claiming Madrid president Florentino Perez is preparing a €150m spending spree to seal a double deal for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba.
Below, we’ve put together what Conte’s XI could look like in the second half of the season if Real can pull this spending spree off and give the 49-year-old the kind of squad needed to challenge in the second half of the season…
This 3-4-3 system notably worked wonders for Conte in his first season at Chelsea, and it’s easy to imagine it could do the same for this struggling Los Blancos outfit.
Something needs to change in that Madrid defence, and the rumoured targeted signing of Kante would certainly offer the back line more protection.
An extra centre-back in there could also be useful, putting less pressure on an ageing Sergio Ramos to do everything back there, with Raphael Varane and Nacho very capable alongside him.
The potential signing of Alaba could work perfectly as a wing-back in Conte’s system, while the attack-minded Dani Carvajal could also enjoy a role with more attacking freedom.
Up front, Icardi looks the kind of striker Real need after losing Ronaldo and with Karim Benzema looking past his best.
Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio are by no means perfect options in that attack after slow starts to the season, but Conte will fancy his chances of doing something with this squad.
It could be bad news for Isco, however, with the classy Spaniard not really consistent enough or sufficiently nailed down enough to one position to quite fit into Conte’s well-oiled machine.
The football won’t always be the prettiest, but Conte has shown his ability to get players to raise their level, work hard, and do the basics very, very well, leading to plenty of silverware in his time with both Chelsea and Juventus.