Real Madrid prefer Santiago Solari to Antonio Conte

Julen Loptegui sacked following 5-1 loss to Barcelona; club thought to prefer 'internal' candidate

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Head coach Santiago Solari of Real Madrid CF gives the ok to his team during the UEFA Youth League Quarter Finals match between  Real Madrid CF and SL Benfica at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on March 8, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) 0:36
Sky in Italy say Santiago Solari is Real Madrid’s preferred choice to replace Julen Lopetegui

Santiago Solari is Real Madrid's preferred candidate to replace Julen Lopetegui, according to Sky in Italy.

Former Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is also in the frame to replace Lopetegui, who took training on Monday morning before he was sacked later in the day. But it is thought Real have a preference for an "internal" candidate.

Real officials met on Monday to discuss the managerial situation, less than 24 hours after Lopetegui's side suffered a 5-1 defeat to Barcelona. The loss at the Nou Camp was Real's fourth in five matches, leaving them ninth in La Liga.

Former Real player Solari currently manages the club's B team, Castilla, who are fifth in Group 1 of Segunda Division B.

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 16: Real Madrid.s David Beckham (L) and Santiago Solari congratulate Michael Owen after he scored a goal against Zaragoza during the Primera Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Zaragoza at the Bernabeu on January 16, 2005 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Beckham;Santiago Solari;Michael Owen
Image: Solari (right) played for Real alongside David Beckham and Michael Owen

Solari won the Champions League and two La Liga titles with Real after joining the club from cross-city rivals Atletico in 2000. The Argentine spent five years at the Santiago Bernabeu before leaving for Inter where he lifted three Serie A titles in three seasons at the San Siro.

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Lopetegui's predecessor Zinedine Zidane also managed Castilla before he became Real manager in January 2016 when the club sacked Rafael Benitez.

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