Former Italy striker Gianfranco Zola believes Antonio Conte is the ideal replacement for Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid and insists Victor Osimhen would be ‘perfect’ for the La Liga giants.

Napoli meet Real Madrid at the Estadio Bernabeu on Wednesday and Zola, a former Napoli and Chelsea striker, among the others, previews tonight’s meeting in an interview with kooora.com.

“It will definitely be a difficult match, given the value of Real Madrid. Napoli is going through a difficult period as they have just changed their coach. Mazzarri’s first match was good, but playing against Real Madrid will be different. Napoli are a good team and could surprise,” said Magic Box.

The Merengues will be without several regular starters, including Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior, but Zola believes the Partenopei should not focus on that.

“Real Madrid have great players. Of course, they will be without influential names, but Napoli must not think about that only and focus on the field to achieve a good result,” he said.

“Mazzarri has a lot of experience, and no one can doubt that. He now has a difficult task but I think he is a good choice.”

Jude Bellingham stole the show in the reverse fixture at the Stadio Maradona on October 3, contributing to an eventual 3-2 Real Madrid win with a goal. Is Zola surprised by his start to the season at the Bernabeu?

“Yes and no, yes because what he is doing seems unreal, as he has scored 14 goals in 15 matches and is not even a striker. But on the other hand, I am not surprised, because I know him well and I know that he has incredible abilities and is a great person. He may be young, but on the field, he is a top-class player.”

The Merengues will be looking for a new centre forward in the summer and although Kylian Mbappé appears to be their primary target, Zola feels the La Liga giants may look elsewhere.

“There are many big names such as Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and even Osimhen, who I see as a perfect fit for Real Madrid. Mbappe is slightly different from Haaland, and I don’t think Manchester City will let Haaland leave easily.

“I might choose Mbappe, given his talent and personality, he is the right fit, but he is more of a winger than a striker, so in my opinion Haaland or Osimhen would be better as they are classic centre forwards. Every coach has his own vision.”

This could be Carlo Ancelotti’s final season at Real Madrid as his contract runs out in June 2024. The Italian tactician is the leading candidate to take over Brazil’s national team and Zola seems to have clear ideas on who should replace Carletto at the Estadio Bernabeu next season.

“What Ancelotti presented is extraordinary. The Merengues were going through a difficult phase when he was appointed three years ago. They had been eliminated from the Champions League by Chelsea, but he succeeded in changing the entire team for the better and restored it to success again.

“The decision [on his future] is definitely up to the club, and what philosophy they will adopt to hire a new coach. I think about someone who can manage their many stars and bring out the best from them. From my point of view, Antonio Conte would be a distinguished choice.”

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