Reports: Leonardo to replace Benitez at Inter

Published Dec. 22, 2010 12:23 p.m. EST

Rafa Benitez's future with Inter Milan remains in serious doubt, with Italian media reporting that former AC Milan coach Leonardo has already been selected as his replacement.

Benitez reportedly angered club officials when he said after Saturday's 3-0 win over TP Mazembe in the Club World Cup final that the board should either fully support him and buy new players in January, or let him go.

While Inter has not made any official announcement yet, the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper reports that club president Massimo Moratti has settled on Leonardo to manage the squad when the Serie A resumes in January.

However, there are some problems terminating Benitez's contract that need to be resolved.


"Nothing is expected today," Moratti said when he exited club headquarters for lunch on Wednesday. "I haven't been able to talk to anyone. We're trying to figure it all out. ... Everything that has happened was unexpected and we're evaluating all the (options)."

Except for the Club World Cup, Inter has struggled all season, and sits seventh in the standings, 13 points behind city rival AC Milan.

Inter is off until it hosts second-place Napoli when the Serie A resumes on Jan. 6.