Inter Milan news

Leonardo ignores Mourinho talk

April 20, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Under pressure Inter Milan coach Leonardo is trying to ignore speculation that Jose Mourinho could return to the club in the summer.

Leonardo tries to urge on his side as they crash out of the Champions League at Schalke.
APLeonardo tries to urge on his side as they crash out of the Champions League at Schalke.

• Moratti: No Mourinho plans
• Zanetti keen on return

Mourinho, who is preparing to take on Barcelona in the second of four El Clasicos in quick succession on Wednesday night, has been linked to a move back to the San Siro where he won the unprecedented Treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League last season.

Inter have struggled since Mourinho's departure to Real Madrid, with Rafael Benitez departing despite winning the Club World Cup in December. New boss Leonardo enjoyed a promising start but they have fallen away to the point that their participation in next season's Champions League is not certain.

The heavy defeat to Schalke in the quarter-finals of this season's Champions League further increased the pressure. They sit third in Serie A, eight points adrift of Leonardo's former club and league leaders AC Milan.

"I am not worried about these rumours,'' Leonardo said. "I'm not thinking about the future. I live in the present. I don't even think about these things.

"I have an open rapport with the club president (Massimo Moratti). He knows me, knows what I think and the only thing that interests me is to find a solution so that the team wins.''

The pressure has barely been lifted by Tuesday night's 1-0 win at Roma in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals, but Leonardo said: "It was important to halt the negative run of results. It wasn't easy, especially after our Champions League elimination.

"But against Roma we showed maturity and we took an important result - something that is not easy to do in Rome. Now we must continue to win. We still have five league games and the Coppa Italia and we need to remain lucid and calm.''

Inter have lost two of their last three league games and host Lazio, who sit three points behind them in fourth, on Saturday.