Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has claimed he wants to wait until June before returning to management while addressing the possibility of taking over at Real Madrid.
The 49-year-old has been out of work since leaving Stamford Bridge during the summer, after winning the Premier League and the FA Cup during his two-year stint in England.
The ex-Blues boss had been lined up to replace Julen Lopetgeui at Santiago Bernabeu, but for the time being Santiago Solari has been installed as manager on an interim basis.
Solari has overseen an immediate turnaround in fortunes on the pitch, as Madrid have won four games in succession, and is now expected to be offered the role on a permanent basis in the near future.
Conte spoke to Sky Sports on Monday and addressed the Madrid speculation - which is still raging on heading into the winter period - confessing that despite interest from top clubs, he intends to wait until the end of the season before signing up for a 'new project'.
"Real Madrid? As I see it, it is better to wait until the end of the season than to take a train running now," the Italian tactician said.
"I want to wait for June and start again with a new project. In three months I could change my mind and deny everything, but I've always thought of it this way."
Conte has also been touted for a possible return to Juventus, whom he managed between 2011 and 2014, winning three consecutive Serie A titles before taking the top job with Italy.
While he denies wanting to succeed Massimiliano Allegri in Turin, he does admit that he would be most comfortable returning to work in his native land.
"If I think about the fact that I could train Ronaldo? No, I do not think about it," Conte added. "I'm happy with the players I've trained and the things I've won. The club continues to grow and is doing a great job at the business level, with huge purchases and a great deal for Allegri.
"Of course, I am Italian and I like to live and train in Italy, obviously, at the moment there is an incredible dominance of Juventus, but the pursuers are they are strengthening year after year ".