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Insider Notes: Antonio Conte Headed for Chelsea Exit; Is Real Madrid in His Future?

Antonio Conte appears on his way for the Chelsea exit, but his methods are attracting another European powerhouse.

With Chelsea struggling in the Premier League, a high-ranking club source says manager Antonio Conte will almost certainly be out by the end of the season and perhaps sooner than that.

The feeling among club leadership is that Conte has been complaining publicly about Chelsea’s problems but hasn’t been doing enough to look for solutions. Chelsea is interested in Luis Enrique and Diego Simeone, but I’m told Atlético Madrid bosses won’t let Simeone leave under any circumstances.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid does have interest in Conte as a potential replacement for Zinédine Zidane. A Real Madrid official says club leaders liked the way Conte laid down the law with Diego Costa and think a hard-nosed coach would be a positive addition.

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It may not sound sexy, but Targeted Allocation Money may be the biggest story of the upcoming MLS season. With TAM, the salary cap per team has essentially doubled in the last two years to $8 million, and one MLS general manager tells that the biggest positive is that the league is getting better as a result—especially in the middle of rosters—to the point that he thinks an MLS team finally winning CONCACAF Champions League isn’t far away from happening.

But the GM added that some negatives have come with extra TAM as well. From a chemistry perspective, any TAM player coming in is making more money than nearly all the current players in the locker room. What’s more, a number of American free agents are getting frozen out because foreign TAM signings can come in on higher salaries for the same cap hit as those American players.