Euro Paper Talk: Antonio Conte to replace Real boss Julen Lopetegui | Football News
Our friends at Football Whispers have sifted through the European media to find the best transfer news and the latest news stories.
Antonio Conte is in pole position to replace under-fire Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui. The Spaniard, who only succeeded Zinedine Zidane in the summer, is reportedly on the brink of being sacked after losing 2-1 at home to Levante, Madrid’s third successive La Liga defeat.
Although Real president Florentino Perez has decided to give Lopetegui another seven days to turn things around, Conte is waiting in the wings. The Italian has been out of work since leaving Chelsea in May. Next Sunday’s Clasico clash at Barcelona will be pivotal in determining Lopetegui’s future. (Corriere dello Sport)
Roma head coach Eusebio Di Francesco is on the verge of losing his job after a 2-0 home defeat to SPAL. Di Francesco guided the Giallorossi to third in Serie A last season as well as reaching the Champions League semi-final but the club are already 11 points behind Juventus after losing three of their opening nine games. Di Francesco will be fighting for his future when Roma take on CSKA Moscow this week before testing trips to Napoli and Fiorentina. (Corriere dello Sport)
Further to Corriere’s report, the press in Spain have said that Lopetegui’s departure from Real is only a matter of time. The 52-year-old has lost the confidence of the dressing room and has come under criticism for the “poor condition” of the squad, highlighting his lack of experience at club level. Sergio Ramos, Real’s captain, is also under pressure after having recommended Lopetegui as Zidane’s replacement. (Marca)
Lopetegui, however, was defiant when pressed about his future following the defeat to Levante. “Right now, it’s the last thing on my mind,” he said when asked about his potential dismissal. “What I want is for the lads to get back up as soon as possible and prepare them for our next match in three days.” (Marca)
Lionel Messi is a doubt for next week’s showdown against Real Madrid after injuring his arm in Barcelona’s 4-2 win over Sevilla. The Argentine was forced off after 26 minutes and could miss approximately three weeks of action. (Marca)
Karim Benzema has emerged as a Tottenham and Juventus transfer target. The French striker could be on his way out of Real Madrid next summer and, while he may not be short of offers, the 30-year-old will have to accept a pay-cut if he is to move to either of the aforementioned clubs. Benzema, who joined Madrid from Lyon in 2009, has scored five goals in 12 games this season. (Don Balon)
Thierry Henry’s first game as a manager ended in defeat as his Monaco side slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Strasbourg. The principality side have now gone 11 games without a win and are languishing down in 18th, underlining the scale of the task facing the Arsenal legend at the Stade Louis II. (L’Equipe)
Adrien Rabiot is set to extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain in the coming weeks. The French midfielder, who has been linked with Barcelona, Manchester City and Juventus, rejected PSG’s previous offer but there has seemingly been a breakthrough in negotiations between the club and player’s representatives. Rabiot, 23, will sign a new three-year deal, keeping him at the Parc des Princes until 2022. (Le10Sport)
Paris Saint-Germain defender Juan Bernat refused to be drawn on Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness’ astonishing attack on him. The German club’s chief claimed Bernat was sold after an error-strewn performance against Sevilla in the Champions League last season. Bernat, however, remained tight-lipped when asked about Hoeness’ comments. “Yes, I’ve heard, but I have nothing to say about it,” the Spain international said. “I was taught to be grateful as a child.” (Sport BILD)