Saturday, 31 May 2008

Mancini fall-out may delay Mourinho appointment

The outbreak of open war between Roberto Mancini and Inter could delay Jose Mourinho's appointment at the San Siro, but the latter was yesterday pictured holding talks with club President Massimo Moratti.

Mancini responded angrily to his dismissal by the Serie A champions, and his lawyers said they were preparing to sue the club for damages.

The dispute is set to go to a tribunal and that could delay the arrival of Mourinho. The former Chelsea boss is pictured in this morning edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport meeting Moratti in a restaurant in Paris on Friday.

Inter officially fired Mancini on Thursday, releasing a terse statement that linked his departure to his comments after Inter's Champions League exit against Liverpool in March.

Inter's lawyers believe Mancini demonstrated he did not want to stay at the club when he told reporters he thought the loss heralded "my last two-and-a-half months" at the club. Several players at the club are willing to testify to the manager's alleged desire to leave Inter.

Moratti is keen to avoid paying the £16million to which Mancini claims he is contractually entitled to.

But Mancini said yesterday that Inter had "gravely offended my honour and my reputation". In a statement, he said he had entrusted the "care of my image" to his lawyers and criticised the club for making reference to "false and illicit events".

His lawyer, Stefano Gagliardi, said Mancini would ask for damages in court.

"We have a contract which has very clear terms that outline the end of his job," he said. "And then there will be a case because this press release has damaged his image both here and abroad."

Meanwhile, the meeting between the club owner Moratti and Mourinho took place over lunch at the Tour d'Argent restaurant, with the two and other club officials discussing transfer targets and planning for the new season according to La Gazzetta.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

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