Rafael Benitez agrees to become Inter Milan coach
Benitez won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005
Inter Milan have announced that former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has agreed to become the club’s new coach.
“We’ve got an agreement, we finalised the last details that in any case weren’t important,” Inter president Massimo Moratti told ANSA news agency.
Moratti said Inter would on Tuesday confirm details of Benitez’s unveiling as the club’s coach.
Benitez, 50, left Liverpool last week after six years at Anfield and will succeed Jose Mourinho at the San Siro.
Moratti revealed negotiations with Benitez had not taken place in person and said the Spaniard was due to arrive in Milan this week ahead of finalising his move to the European champions.
“All that is needed now is a counter-signature,” added the Inter president.
Benitez has a strong track record in European football, having won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and the Uefa Cup with Valencia in 2004.
But he would have big shoes to fill at Inter, with Mourinho winning the league in both seasons he was at the club, not to mention securing the Champions League and Italian Cup last season.
And before Mourinho’s spell at the club, Inter won three consecutive titles under Manchester City’s current manager Roberto Mancini.
Towards the end of last season, Benitez was strongly linked with a move to Inter’s rivals Juventus, but since his departure from Anfield he became the subject of speculation suggesting a move to the San Siro was imminent.
Even Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano, one of his former players at Liverpool, suggested that the Spaniard would be the ideal fit for Inter.
“Only Benitez could take the place of a coach like Mourinho,” said Mascherano.
“He is a great coach. He has charisma, personality, a winning mentality.
“Moreover, he will find himself brilliantly in Italy because of the tactical game. Rafa studies everything on the table and directs the team from the bench like an orchestra conductor.
“After Mourinho, he is the only man capable of continuing Inter’s winning run.”