Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is on red alert as Real Madrid prepare to pull the trigger on Julen Lopetegui's time at the club should he fail to pick up any points against Barcelona, according to reports.
Lopetegui is under increasing pressure at the Bernabeu after overseeing just one win in Real's last six matches, a run of form which has the Spaniard on borrowed time despite only taking the job in the summer.
Conte, meanwhile, has been out of work since the end of last season having been sacked by Chelsea - but, he is now waiting in the wings for his next appointment and has already alerted members of his backroom staff to the possibility of a move to the Spanish capital.
According to Sport Mediaset, Conte has now ironed out the terms of his departure at Stamford Bridge having agreed to terminate the remainder of his contract with Chelsea, which ensures he is now free to accept Real's proposition should it arrive.
So Conte’s contract with Chelsea is officially terminated. Think I know who’ll be watching the Clásico hoping for a Madrid loss.— Xav Salazar (@XavsFutbol) October 26, 2018
The Blues had parted with Conte a year before his contract was to expire and it meant they would continue to pay his wages until he was appointed elsewhere, where the fear for Real was that they would need to pay the Premier League outfit €10.8m to acquire the Italian as he was still legally their asset.
However, a settlement was reached in a London court on Friday which makes Conte a free man and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is now ready to make a swoop for the 49-year-old should things continue to go awry at Camp Nou on Sunday.
Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc has also been linked to the job but the report claims Conte has already been backed by club captain Sergio Ramos.
If Real Madrid were to lose against Barcelona it would see them seven points adrift from their rivals with just 10 games played.