Benitez on the brink?

Moratti: Benitez's future is unclear

December 22, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has admitted the future of boss Rafael Benitez is complicated amid widespread reports the Spaniard has been sacked by the club and has stopped well short of issuing a full backing to the former Liverpool boss.

Inter president Massimo Moratti shares a joke with Rafael Benitez
APInter president Massimo Moratti has sacked previous managers for less than Claudio Ranieri

• Mourinho rules out Inter return
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Moratti briefly spoke with reporters at lunchtime on Wednesday when he again denied that Benitez had been sacked. However, the 50-year-old still looks likely to leave the post after he issued a 'sack me or back me' ultimatum after leading them to success in the FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday.

"We are trying to understand what's going on, this situation is a bit of a mess," Moratti said. "Everything that happened was a bit unexpected, we are considering every point of view."

Benitez has been holidaying in his former home city of Liverpool, leading to some fans to call for his return to Anfield but as yet, he remains Inter Milan manager. The Italian season is now in its winter break, but Benitez has reiterated his stance against the club's hierachy. After the weekend 3-0 win over African side TP Mazembe that gave Inter their first ever Club World Cup, Benitez called for Moratti to back him in the upcoming transfer market after an otherwise poor start to the season.

After the Mazembe match the Spaniard, who signed a two-year-deal at Inter after leaving Liverpool at the end of last season, said: "There are three possibilities for the club.

"One, 100% support for the coach and buy four or five players to build a stronger team with competition among the players to be able to carry on winning matches and trophies.

"Two, carry on like this without a project, without planning, and go ahead with one person to blame, for the whole season.

"The third," he added, "is to speak to my agent to reach an agreement if there is not this support. Simple."

Moratti attended a meeting at the club's offices on Tuesday night, following which he claimed that Benitez was still boss and that no contact had been made with potential replacements.

Former AC Milan boss Leonardo has, however, been heavily linked with the post, although Moratti denied any talks between the two parties had taken place. "I haven't had a way of talking any other coach. I haven't met Leonardo," Moratti added.