Serie A – Confusion over Benitez ‘sacking’
Reports said Benitez – who only joined the European and Italian champions in June – was being removed because of his side’s poor domestic form and his outburst over what he saw as Inter’s lack of ambition following Saturday’s World Club Cup win.
Wednesday’s Daily Mirror reported that Benitez is indeed sacked, with an official announcement delayed only by negotiations over a pay-off for the remaining 18 months on the former Liverpool manager’s contract.
But Italian paper Gazetta reports quotes from Benitez telling a Spanish radio station, “I have not been sacked. I called Massimo after seeing the papers and asked if I had been sacked. It is not true.”
And Moratti insisted that Benitez remained in charge of the club.
“At the moment the coach of Inter is still Benitez,” Moratti said outside his offices where he had held meetings with club officials.
“I haven’t been in contact with any other coach.”
Brazilian Leonardo, who left as coach of city rivals AC Milan in May after just one season as manager, has become favourite to succeed Benitez after Zenit St Petersburg said their boss Luciano Spalletti would be staying in Russia.
“Let’s not joke,” Moratti said when asked about reports he had held talks with Leonardo.
Former Inter goalkeeper Walter Zenga has also been linked with the job despite Benitez saying on Monday he was surprised by the reports about his imminent sacking.
Eurosport / Reuters