Julen Lopetegui has been sacked by Real Madrid after a terrible start to the 2018-19 season culminated in a shocking loss against their arch-rivals, Barcelona, this weekend.
Barca were good value for their victory, even without club captain Lionel Messi pulling the strings in the final third, as Luis Suarez grabbed a hat-trick in between strikes from Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal .
Marcelo made the scoreline 2-1 just after half-time, but a late flurry from the hosts made sure of the three points, which has left Madrid sitting ninth in the Liga table, seven points behind leaders Barca.
Lopetegui has been under pressure for weeks now and, having won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions, the board has finally decided to act by terminating his contract.
The 52-year-old boss was appointed as Madrid’s new manager just before the World Cup back in June, which cost him his position as Spain’s head coach for the tournament.
Los Blancos started the season quite strongly but, after a 1-0 defeat against Alaves on October 6, things began to unravel for Lopetegui and his team have underperformed ever since.
Goal understands Antonio Conte is in advanced talks to replace him in the hotseat, though difficulties regarding the Italian’s release clause with Chelsea have provided an unwelcome setback.
As such, reserve-team manager Santiago Solari is set to take the reins until an agreement can be reached between the two clubs.