Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Mourinho excited by challenge

Jose Mourinho has been officially unveiled as the new coach of Inter, claiming he is a great coach but that he no longer wants to be thought of as special.

The Serie A champions confirmed yesterday that they had signed the former Chelsea manager on a three-year deal, thought to be worth around £7 million a year after tax.

Speaking in fluent Italian at the Angelo Moratti sports centre at the club's Appiano Gentile headquarters, he said: "I am Mourinho and that's all. I have come to a special club."

"I think I am a great coach but I don't want to be special. I am myself, I don't change, I am still the same person, with the same mission and same passion for my work.

"I have always wanted to work in Italy and at a big club. I therefore thank Moratti and Marco Branca, who have given me this opportunity. For me it is a very important challenge, but I also think it could be very good fun for you guys.

"I need to start a new cycle after that of Mancini, who I consider a great coach, but I am a different tactician.

"I want to change the football philosophy of the team, this is my challenge. Moratti has asked me to be myself and to be Mourinho means to work in harmony with players, with the club and with the fans."

The cost of firing former coach Roberto Mancini and hiring Mourinho is thought to be around £80 million.

Owner Massimo Moratti is also preparing to spend the same again on refreshing a squad who are beginning to look tired and old. The Italian media have speculated that some of Inter's veterans, such as Patrick Vieira and Luis Figo, are likely to depart.

Inter had a quiet end to the season, despite winning the Scudetto for the third year running.

Moratti has already underlined his intent by giving a new £9.5 million-a-year contract to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, making Inter's lead striker the highest-paid player in Serie A. A swap deal between Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto'o, of Barcelona, was recently mooted, but the Swede is now tied to Inter until 2013.

Inter will now concentrate on signing Frank Lampard from Chelsea. Lampard is in contract negotiations and has been offered £130,000 a week by Chelsea, and Inter are thought to be willing to match the deal. Lampard's current deal expires in June 2009.

They are also thought to be willing to spend £44 million on Eto'o and Deco from Barcelona and £32 million to buy Ricardo Quaresma from Porto. Mourinho has also been heavily linked with Chelsea's Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Ricardo Carvalho.

"I prefer open and available people," Mourinho added. "I am a simple person and a simple coach. At the end of the day it is easy to work with me."

Although he is bringing Rui Farias, Silvino and Andrei Villas Boas from Portugal, his deputy will be Giuseppe Baresi, a former Inter player and the head of the youth team.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

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