Mystery surrounds Mancini 'exit' from Inter

May 28, 2008

MILAN, May 28 (Reuters) - Inter Milan and Roberto Mancini continued to remain silent on Wednesday despite widespread media reports the coach had been sacked.

Mancini's future has been unclear since Inter wrapped up a third consecutive Serie A title earlier this month.

Club president Massimo Moratti said the pair needed to talk to see if their relationship could continue following a series of controversies this season.

That meeting took place on Tuesday and lasted just 25 minutes, leading media to speculate Mancini had been fired.

On Wednesday, Reuters efforts to contact both the club and Mancini to confirm his removal proved initially fruitless.

Wednesday's Italian newspapers said former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho was ready to take over and had already begun plotting who to sign. They also said Mancini was among the candidates for the vacant manager's job at Chelsea.

Some local media reports said Inter and Mancini were staying silent for legal reasons with details of how to resolve his contract and those of his staff still to be sorted out.

Mancini's agent Giorgio De Giorgis said he believed his client had been sacked but had no confirmation.

'Roberto did not think it could end like this. Roberto is very upset because his work was not finished, he could have tried to win other championships, perhaps the Champions League,' De Giorgis told SportItalia television.

AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani, Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli and Italy's defence minister Ignazio La Russa, an Inter fan, are among those to have spoken to media about Mancini's departure despite no confirmation.