Club president denies Mancini’s willingness to leave Inter

March 13th, 2008 - 1:37 pm ICT by admin  

Milan, March 13 (DPA) Italian football club Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti late Wednesday denied that coach Roberto Mancini had expressed his willingness not to continue with his job beyond the end of the season after the team’s elimination from the European Champions League. The Serie A title holders lost 1-0 at home against Liverpool to go out 3-0 on aggregate in the round of 16. It was Mancini’s fourth elimination in the event since he arrived at Inter in 2004.

He was quoted as having said after the match that: “Although I still have four years of contract, I think these will be my last two and a half months on Inter’s bench and in Italy.”

The 43-year-old coach said his decision would have been the same if the team had won and denied any row with his players or with club president Moratti.

His announcement surprised both the team and managers, adding to the bitterness of the elimination.

Moratti, however, told Italian television Wednesday that he had discussed the matter with Mancini. “He confirmed that he would fulfil his contract and would be in charge next season.”

Inter have a six-point lead on second-placed Roma with 11 games left in the Serie A season, but have once again appeared unable to handle the tension of international games.

Mancini, a former striker with Bologna, Sampdoria and Lazio, coached Lazio and Fiorentina before Inter. At Inter he won two consecutive Serie A titles, one being awarded to Inter in the wake of a match-rigging scandal, and two Italian Cups.

Jose Mourinho or Rafael Benitez was being touted to be his possible successor if Mancini decides to end his tenure with Inter.

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