Inter Milan sack Rafael Benitez
Italian giants Inter have parted company with manager Rafael Benitez after barely six months in charge.
It was believed that Inter’s recent triumph in the Club World Club would at least buy Benitez a few more weeks at the helm, but it appears this was not the case.
Sky Sports reported the sacking last night after days of speculation surrounding the future of the former Liverpool manager.
Benitez – who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 — reportedly said a few days prior that he “didn’t know” if he had been sacked or not, and he also denied rumours of his sacking yesterday morning.
After winning the World Club Cup, Rafa told the Inter board to “back” him, or “sack” him, and when asked about Rafa’s statement, club president Massimo Moratti refused to comment at the time, however it now seems he has taken Benitez’ advice into consideration.
Former AC Milan manager Leonardo has been strongly linked with a move to Inter, but Moratti would not be drawn further on the Brazilian.
Benitez, 50, is currently on holiday in Liverpool as Inter have begun their winter break.
Inter have been decimated by injuries and are 13 points adrift of city rivals AC Milan in the Serie A title hunt, albeit having played two games fewer than the Rossoneri. They now have a winter break and next take to the field against Napoli in January.
Another man who is likely to be on Moratti’s wishlist to followBenitez at the San Siro is Fabio Capello.
However, trevor brooking, speaking yesterday before the latest rumours filtered through from Italy, said the Football Association remained confident that Capello would remain England manger even if he received overtures from Inter.
Capello, despite a long association with city rivals Milan, would be high on the short-list of possible replacements for Benitez and may be becoming disaffected enough with life as England manager to accept.
However, despite growing media disenchantment with Capello, the FA remain broadly behind him.
The feeling is he should be given a chance to show he has learned from the mistakes of the World Cup campaign.
Brooking, who is the FA's director of football development said: “In a role like Fabio's there is speculation all the time, but from our point of view Fabio is contracted to 2012. He is doing our qualifying campaign and hopefully he will get the chance to have a good tournament in 2012.”
Brooking re-iterated when the time did come to replace Capello it would, ideally, be by an Englishman.
“When the situation does arise we don't know where the leading English managers will be and how much it will take to get them out of their contact situations.”