Beleaguered Benitez on the brink

Mourinho rules out Inter return

December 22, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has laughed off reports linking him with a return to Inter Milan, as Rafael Benitez's San Siro reign looks to be drawing to a close.

Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez
GettyImagesRafael Benitez is touted as a replacement for Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid

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Reports in England and Italy have suggested that Benitez has already been sacked by Inter and despite the club's president Massimo Moratti claiming the Spaniard was still Nerazzurri boss on Tuesday, it seems that the axe is certain to fall in the next few days.

While former AC Milan coach Leonardo has been widely touted as the favourite to replace Benitez, rumours have also circulated that Mourinho would be approached about a sensational return to the club he left in May.

Mourinho guided Inter to an unprecedented treble of Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia titles last season before moving to Madrid but when asked about a possible return to Italy, he was admant that he would not be leaving Real so soon.

"I have a four-year contract with Real Madrid, and I'm going to continue here for a long time," Mourinho is quoted as telling Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. "There are many things to do in Madrid, and not only on-field work.

"I hope that Inter don't need me now, as this would mean they have taken the wrong path. In my future it will be the Premier League or Italy. Problems at Real Madrid? I never have problems.''

Mourinho believes that Benitez's outburst against Inter president Massimo Moratti earlier this week showed a lack of respect for what he did at the club.

Benitez issued a 'sack me or back me' ultimatum after Inter's success at the FIFA Club World Cup, believing he needs extra funds in the upcoming transfer window to improve his faltering squad.

The reigning five-time Serie A champions sit 13 points adrift of leaders and city rivals AC Milan in the table, albeit with two games in hand.

"I don't want to know when or if Benitez is ousted,'' Mourinho added. "I am only interested in Inter, the president, my friends, the players, the fans who in two years gave me everything.

"I want Inter to win everything apart from the Champions League, where there is Real Madrid. Rafa's words [after the Club World Cup]. They deserve no comment. I expected at least a thank you from the success that I gave him. Ask all the Inter fans what they think of me and him.''