Real Madrid ready to swoop in for Chelsea boss Antonio Conte after Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri joins the list of snubbery.
The Chelsea boss is emerging as the only manager with a recent proven track record who is likely to be available this summer.
Thursday will mark one week without a manager since Zinedine Zidane left Madrid after disagreeing with the board over plans for next season.
Real want to buy a goalkeeper, pursue the signature of Neymar, offload Ronaldo and were not willing to give Zidane full power in the transfer market.
Conte has complained of being in a similar situation at Chelsea on occasions and his abrasive attitude had made him someone the club did not immediately consider when they drew up their first post-Zidane shortlist.
But with Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp wedded to their current clubs and tied to long contracts, Madrid started to widen the net.
Spanish media have claimed Allegri had been offered the job but turned it down. That has seen the Conte option gain ground.
Madrid have host of quick alternatives available to them. Arsene Wenger, Guti, Michel and Michael Laudrup could all be recruited with no need for compensation or lengthy negotiations.
But the board are not satisfied that any of them would be popular or successful appointments.
Further evidence of a rift between Real Madrid and Zidane has emerged with the suggestion that the French coach wanted to begin next pre-season with two weeks training in Madrid before the summer tour. But the club were insisting the team be taken on the scheduled North American trip and begin pre-season there.