0913 GMT February 17, 2020
Former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui was relieved of his duties on Monday after a dismal start to the season, with the weekend's embarrassing 5-1 El Clasico loss to Barcelona the final nail in the coffin, goal.com reported.
The 52-year-old manager was poached from the national team just before the World Cup back in June, with RFEF deciding to release him due to the announcement being made official before the tournament.
And now, following Lopetegui's sacking after having won only one of his last seven matches, Madrid must act quickly to fill the vacant position.
Conte is the frontrunner for the job, but his appointment is being held up due to disagreements with former club Chelsea over a compensation package, goal.com understands.
In order to sign with Los Blancos, the Italian would have to forego a €10 million (£9m/$11m) severance, leading to the aforementioned complications.
Reserve team boss Santiago Solari has taken the reins as per Madrid's statement released on Monday, but the club will have to move quickly if the European champion is to land its top target in Conte.
Solari took charge of his first training session on Tuesday.
Article 160 in RFEF's General Regulations document reads:
1. If a coaching vacancy occurs after the competition (La Liga) has started, the club will be obliged to find a new coach who is licensed for the category within a maximum time frame of two weeks.
It is worth noting that Solari possesses such a license.
2. Failure to carry out the duties referred to in the previous paragraph will lead to the carrying out of corresponding disciplinary measures by the federation.
This being the case, Madrid has less than 15 days to make a permanent appointment as Solari's stint as the stand-in boss can last only four matches: Melilla, Valladolid, Viktoria Plzen and Celta Vigo.
The club knows the clock is ticking and must either appoint Solari full time, make a breakthrough in negotiations with Conte, or simply hire another external candidate.
The Spanish capital club next takes to the pitch at Estadio Álvarez Claro on Wednesday, where it faces Melilla in the Copa del Rey.