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Lopetegui on the brink at Real

Conte, Solari and Martinez in the frame to replace the former Spain coach after El Clasico humbling

Julen Lopetegui's brief and inglorious reign as Real Madrid coach could come to an end imminently, with the Spanish press reporting that Antonio Conte, Santiago Solari and Roberto Martinez are in contention to replace him.

Real were thrashed 5-1 by rivals Barcelona yesterday morning (Singapore time) as Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick that likely sealed Lopetegui's fate.

According to Spanish media, Real's directors are set to meet this morning, when Lopetegui's sacking could be confirmed.

He was appointed only 139 days ago to replace Zinedine Zidane - who left after winning an unprecedented three Champions League titles on the trot - with his decision to accept the post costing him the chance to lead Spain at the World Cup.

But Real's dreadful recent run showed no sign of abating at the Nou Camp. They have now managed one win in their last seven matches, sit ninth in La Liga and earlier this month went more than eight hours without a goal.

The early favourite to turn things around at the Santiago Bernabeu was former Chelsea boss Conte.

Despite Lopetegui taking training yesterday, reports suggested that Conte's agent was in talks with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over the prospective move.

However, negotiations seemed to have hit a snag as Mundo Deportivo and Madrid-based Marca and AS suggested that it might not be Conte ending up in the Real hot seat.

Marca believe complications in talks with Conte's agent have opened the door for Solari, the coach of Real Madrid's B team, and Belgium boss Martinez.

Marca's website reported yesterday: "Just when Antonio Conte was set to become Real Madrid's new coach, the Italian's potential move to the club has become complicated.

"There has been a deadlock in negotiations with the former Chelsea boss and, all of a sudden, the names of Santiago Solari and Roberto Martinez are back on the table."

In comments that the Spanish papers believe are in reference to the authoritarian Conte, Real captain Sergio Ramos said after the Clasico humbling: "Respect is won, it's not imposed.

"We've won titles, and team management is more important than the knowledge of a coach."

For Lopetegui's father Jose Antonio, Real's decision to sell talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus for 100 million euros (S$157.2m) in the summer and not replace him handicapped his son's chances of succeeding from the start.

He told Mundo Deportivo: "Cristiano Ronaldo was good. Was he cocky? We all have defects, but it turns out he scored 50 goals a season.

"He is missing. You are missing a prominent goalscorer. They haven't bought one, not a single one.

"There was talk of Neymar and others, but no one came. They have stolen 50 goals from my son!"

Ronaldo, meanwhile, said he decided to quit Real because Perez only ever saw him as a means of making money.

"He only ever looked at me as a business relationship. I know it. What he told me was never from the heart," the Portuguese told France Football magazine.

"In the first four or five years (at Real) I had the feeling of being 'Cristiano Ronaldo'. Less so afterwards.

"The president looked at me through eyes that didn't want to say the same thing, as if I was no longer indispensable to them.

"That's what made me think about leaving. Sometimes I'd look at the news, where they were saying I was asking to leave.

"There was a bit of that, but the truth is that I always had the impression that the president would not hold me back."

The Portuguese international was also keen to stress that Zidane departure after falling out with Perez was not the reason behind his own exit.

Ronaldo, however, did highlight that he is satisfied with his decision to leave given how things have transpired at the Bernabeu this season.

"My decision to leave was not based on Zidane's," he said. "That being said, it's one of those little things that made me feel a bit better about what I thought about the situation at the club."