Saturday, 31 May 2008

Inter close in on Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has taken another step closer to becoming the new boss at Serie A champions Inter.

The Portuguese coach met club President Massimo Moratti in Paris on Friday, with the duo rumoured to have been discussing potential transfer targets.

Italian news agency Ansa claim that the former Chelsea chief will officially be unveiled at Giuseppe Meazza early next week, before heading out to Japan to manage a Rest of the World side in Hidetoshi Nakata's testimonial on Wednesday.

The self-styled 'Special One' has been out of work since leaving Stamford Bridge in September, but now has the opportunity to work with another of Europe's top clubs.

Inter parted company with Roberto Mancini on Thursday and immediately set their sights on appointing Mourinho as his successor.

Mancini had led the club to three consecutive league titles, but a number of badly-timed outbursts had upset the Nerazzurri establishment.

Moratti had been heavily critical of the Italian coach's time in the hot-seat, but has since backtracked on those comments and admitted that Mancini had helped to move the club forward.

"There has been thanks from me for the work he did," said the owner. "I told him personally and I'm repeating it now."

However, he did then reiterate his disappointment at the manager's reaction to their UEFA Champions League exit to Liverpool, when Mancini announced his intention to walk away from the club.

"That statement caused many problems at Inter and destabilised the team," added Moratti.

As fate would have it, with Mourinho seemingly heading for Italy, Mancini has now been installed as the clear favourite to take the Portuguese's former post at Chelsea.

Source: Sky Sports

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