Rome: Inter Milan are set to fire coach Rafael Benitez, but first want to slash his compensation payment, according to reports in the Italian press on Wednesday.
The Spaniard, who has struggled since becoming coach of the Italian champions six months ago, all but sealed his fate with a verbal outburst against the club’s management after winning the club World Cup in Abu Dhabi last week.
He accused his bosses of failing to support him in the transfer market and accused the players of taking their own decisions.
Inter president Massimo Moratti was reported to be furious over the remarks and wanted to fire Benitez even though the dismissal of the former Liverpool boss, who took over from Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho, could cost the club between four and eight million euros.
The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper said that Inter had written to Benitez upbraiding him for his outburst and accusing the Spaniard of failing to meet his responsibilties as a coach possibly opening the door to a reduced compensation payment.
Despite local media suggesting the axe could fall later Wednesday, Moratti said there would be no further immediate developments on the affair that has gripped Italy’s sporting press.
“Nothing more will happen today, I won’t be speaking to anyone else,” Moratti, who wants to hold talks with Benitez to get his explanation for last weekend’s outburst, insisted.
Moratti denied the club were investigating ways to reduce Benitez’s payoff.
“No, we are seeking to understand, this affair has become confused, it’s been very surprising, we want to analyse it.”
And in answer to the burning question of the hour, was Benitez still coach of Inter, he said: “Up to now, he is (coach)...”
According to Gazzetto dello Sport Inter are angling to replace Benitez by Brazilian Leonardo.