Benitez is still Inter coach for now, says Moratti

Milan: Confusion continued to reign over the future of Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez on Tuesday after club president Massimo Moratti played down widespread speculation that he had been sacked.

Reports said Spaniard Benitez, only at the European and Italian champions since 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.

"At the moment the coach of Inter is still Benitez," Moratti told reporters 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.

Bureau Report