Milan - Inter Milan will confirm the firing of Rafael Benitez on Wednesday, just days after the head coach launched an extraordinary verbal attack on club owner Massimo Moratti.
Multiple sources confirmed on Tuesday night that Benitez’s turbulent six-month reign in charge of the defending European champion has come to an end, and that he will receive a payoff of close to $10 million.
Benitez used his press conference following Inter’s triumph in the Club World Cup on Saturday to criticize Moratti’s handling of club affairs and to reveal his discontent at the lack of transfer funds he has received to spend on new players.
Moratti was outraged by such a public show of insubordination, although even up until Tuesday evening he was still insisting that Benitez remained in charge. But that will change on Wednesday following long discussions regarding the terms and financial details of Benitez’s dismissal.
It is expected that Brazilian coach Leonardo will be appointed to take over. Leonardo spent a season in charge of Inter’s hated rival AC Milan before being ousted earlier this year and would be an historic appointment – only two men have previously taken charge of both Milan giants.
As for Benitez, it is unlikely that he will be allowed to work in another head coaching job for the remainder of the season under the terms of his payoff. However, after that point, he would be free to pursue other options.
Inter was sensational last season, completing the treble of Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League titles under the leadership of Jose Mourinho. Since Mourinho left to take over at Real Madrid, things have gone downhill. The Club World Cup, a tournament which features the continental champions of each FIFA region, has been the only real bright spot.
Inter currently sits seventh in the Serie A table 13 points adrift of the lead. Despite progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League, Benitez’s men were unconvincing in defeats to Tottenham and Werder Bremen.