Real Madrid have reportedly been in contact on two occasions with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who is now believed to be their primary target to replace struggling manager Julen Lopetegui.
According to AS, senior officials at the Bernabéu have lost patience with the former Spain coach, who is now set to be sacked after a nightmare start to his spell with the club.
After a dismal run of form, Los Blancos are currently seventh in La Liga, and are in danger of slipping further behind leaders Barcelona if their slump continues.
Real Madrid Castilla manager and former Los Blancos star Santiago Solari is another name thought to be in the frame to succeed Lopetegui, while Jose Mourinho has also been touted somewhat sensationally for a return.
Amid the contrasting reports, AS claim that Real Madrid will wait until after the upcoming Clásico to part company with Lopetegui, to avoid any unwanted distractions before the massive fixture next Sunday.
It is claimed that the Madrid hierarchy began to lose faith in Lopetegui after defeat in Moscow at the start of October and have twice made contact with preferred candidate Conte this month.
The second call is reported to have been made to Conte's agent Federico Pastorello, after Saturday's defeat to Levante, as Real attempted to gauge the former Juventus man's interest.
Despite their poor run of form, the inconsistency experienced by a number of top sides means that Real Madrid are far from dead and buried, and are just four points off leaders Barcelona.
Conte, who has been without a club since leaving Chelsea in July, has a track record of managerial excellence, having won three Serie A title with Juventus, and the Premier League in his first season with the Blues.