Rafa 'close' to three-year Inter deal

Rafa 'close' to three-year Inter deal

Published Jun. 7, 2010 2:16 p.m. ET

Inter president Massimo Moratti has indicated a deal is imminent to make Rafael Benitez the Serie A club's new head coach.

The Spaniard, who left his post at Liverpool by mutual consent last Thursday, has been strongly linked with the post after Jose Mourinho's departure for Real Madrid.

And Moratti told reporters in Italy: "The next few hours could be decisive. But we must ask (technical director Marco) Branca."

Benitez appears set to take his Anfield assistant Mauricio Pellegrino, goalkeeping coach Xavi Valero and fitness coach Paco de Miguel with him to the San Siro, with Italian Amedeo Carboni - who played under Benitez as a midfielder at Valencia - also likely to be added to his backroom staff.


Reports in Italy suggest Benitez will sign a three-year deal worth five million euros per season.

Benitez earned a place in Anfield folklore by guiding Liverpool to 2005 Champions League glory in his first season.

He followed that with FA Cup success in 2006 and another Champions League final appearance 12 months later. After finishing runners-up in the Premier League in 2009, many expected a serious title tilt this year but it failed to materialise.

Early elimination from the Champions League was followed by a failure to finish in the top four and to re-qualify for Europe's elite event.

The 50-year-old had four years remaining on his contract but paid the price for that seventh-placed finish.

He had previously been linked with both Real and Juventus, who last month appointed former Sampdoria boss Luigi del Neri as Alberto Zaccheroni's successor.