When we opened Gazzetta dello Sport this morning, we weren’t prepared for what was inside: a double page spread about Antonio Conte to Real Madrid.

The news broke on Thursday evening via Gianluca di Marzio, who reported the Italian manager wanted to respect his Stamford Bridge contract, effectively turning down the advances from the La Liga giants.

Down their end, Gazzetta see it a bit differently, explaining that Conte is reluctant to make the first move towards leaving the Blues, as he doesn’t want to jeopardise his chances of receiving the very generous severance package he is due should the club move on from his services.

For Real Madrid, the Chelsea manager seems like one of the best candidates ‘on the market’, so to speak, and the former Italy head coach is said to have Florentino Pérez’s personal stamp of approval.

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The club’s president would like a strong character to lead his team of galacticos into a new era of success, as they try and find Zinedine Zidane’s successor.

However, if none of this works out, there’s a good chance Real Madrid could continue their ‘in house’ trend, with Guti one of the favourites, alongside Conte, for the job.