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Antonio Conte to succeed Zinedine Zidane if Real Madrid…

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been identified by Real Madrid as their shock choice to replace Zinedine Zidane, according to reports.

Pressure has been building on Zidane in recent weeks with Madrid sitting fourth in La Liga and a daunting last-16 Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain to come after the club finished behind Spurs in the group stages.

The Frenchman is out of contract at the end of the season and the likelihood of him earning a new deal is in the balance despite the success he’s enjoyed at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane reacts during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs UD Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 5, 2017.

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane reacts during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs UD Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 5, 2017.

Conte’s relationship with the Chelsea board has been tested over the last six months and the Italian considered approaches from AC Milan and Inter Milan when tensions were high last summer.

Conte still has 18 months to run on his existing deal at Stamford Bridge but Carlo Ancelotti is said to be ready to step in for a second time at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Conte manager of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League group C match between AS Roma and Chelsea FC at Stadio Olimpico on October 31, 2017 in Rome, Italy.

ROME, ITALY – OCTOBER 31: Antonio Conte manager of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League group C match between AS Roma and Chelsea FC at Stadio Olimpico on October 31, 2017 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

That would allow Madrid to hire Conte, who they have identified as a leading contender to take over at the Bernabeu, according to the Sun.

Conte had expected to move back to Italy when he eventually leaves west London but the lure of Madrid may prove to tempt to turn down.

The Italian did sign a new contract with Chelsea last summer but it was telling that the only change to his fresh deal was his salary and not an extension.

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