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Benitez axed by Inter


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Sky Sports News understands Rafa Benitez has been sacked from his post as Inter Milan manager after just six months in charge.

The former Liverpool boss was only appointed by the Serie A giants in the summer but has failed to impress during his time in Italy.

Benitez was handed the unenviable task of following in the footsteps of Jose Mourinho after the former Chelsea chief secured an unprecedented treble of the UEFA Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia titles.

The 50-year-old has seen his side struggle in league action this season and they are currently seventh in the Serie A standings, 13 points adrift of leaders AC Milan, although they do have two games in hand.

Outburst

Inter's defence of their European crown has also stuttered as they finished second in Group A behind Tottenham and suffering a miserable 3-0 defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen in their final group fixture.

A meeting with Bayern Munich, who Mourinho's Inter defeated in the Champions League final last summer, was on the cards in the last 16, but there will be a new man at the helm for that fixture in February.

Benitez was understood to be on borrowed time after his outburst in the wake of the Club World Cup success when he called on club president Massimo Moratti to back him in the transfer market if they wanted him to stay as coach.

Moratti has pointedly refused to stand by the Spaniard following his explosive comments and it now appears his patience has run out.

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Leonardo is one step away from replacing Rafael Benitez at Inter.

Benitez seems likely to leave the champions as his relations at club level have caused a cocktail of concern among the chiefs, despite Massimo Moratti claiming there was no drastic action in place on Tuesday night.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Inter have sacked Benitez by email after the club's lawyer sent him a note making it clear he was no longer required.

That leaves former Milan man Leonardo as favourite to come in and take the reins on a two-year deal.

Luciano Spalletti has also been linked with the job, but the Russian club already said their coach was staying.

However, there is another candidate. Goal.com Arabic edition sources claim Al Naser coach Walter Zenga is about to leave the Saudi club and head to Milan.

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Inter Milan have appointed 41-year-old former AC Milan boss Leonardo to succeed Rafael Benitez as coach.Brazilian World Cup winner Leonardo will take up the reins on 29 December and his contract runs until June 2012.

Benitez was sacked after six months in the job after asking the Inter board to back him in the transfer market.

"We believe Leonardo has the class and experience of a champion and his mentality will get the team together to get results," Inter's website read.

Leonardo's only previous managerial experience came at Inter's rivals AC Milan last season.

Inter appointed Benitez after former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho moved to Real Madrid having guided the Nerazzurri to the Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup Treble.

The Italian giants turned to Benitez after his six-year reign as Liverpool manager came to an end in June.

But, despite winning the Italian Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup this season, the side have not found things as straightforward in the league.

And Benitez's relationship with Inter president Massimo Moratti became strained when the Spaniard issued an ultimatum over transfer funds after last weekend's Fifa Club World Cup triumph.

When Inter entertain second-place Napoli in Serie A after the winter break on 6 January, Leonardo will take charge of a side seventh in the table, 13 points adrift of leaders AC Milan.

Leonardo's first meeting with his former employers is scheduled for 3 April.

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani admitted on Thursday that it would be strange to see Leonardo in the blue and black of his club's local rivals.

"I do not know what my reaction would be," Galliani stated.

"He certainly has an important history with Milan. He made a career with AC Milan - first as a player, then as a coach and a manager."

In addition to attempting to bridge that gap in Serie A, one of the new Inter coach's main tasks will be attempting to retain the Champions League title, starting with a last-16 clash against Bayern Munich, the side they beat in the 2010 final in May.

Moratti had indicated that no new appointment would be made until after Christmas, "from the 27th of December onwards".

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How many terrible managers have won the European Cup, UEFA Cup, La Liga, FA Cup, European Super Cup, World Club Championship etc?

:laugh:

but hes been usless the last two years and thats what matters.

he really needs to take some time off before attempting another club.

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How many terrible managers have won the European Cup, UEFA Cup, La Liga, FA Cup, European Super Cup, World Club Championship etc?

:laugh:

Kostaz had it right, he was lucky :D

How many managers who have all those credentials get sacked the 2 of the largest clubs in the world in a matter of months? He ****ed up liverpool and he was pretty much on his way to destroying inter.

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but hes been usless the last two years and thats what matters.

he really needs to take some time off before attempting another club.

Kostaz had it right, he was lucky :D

How many managers who have all those credentials get sacked the 2 of the largest clubs in the world in a matter of months? He ****ed up liverpool and he was pretty much on his way to destroying inter.

Political bickering largely contributed to Rafa getting sacked from Liverpool and Inter. If he could keep his mouth shut he would still be at Inter, but Rafa wears his heart on his sleeve and likes to fight against the ethos of 'modern football'.

I say fair play, Bill Shankly wouldn't have stood for what has been dished out to Rafa over the last few years and Shankly would be a model many people would/should be proud to follow.

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