Rafael Benitez has left Inter Milan after an agreement was reached over the termination of his contract, the Serie A club have confirmed.
Talks had been ongoing between the former Liverpool coach’s agent and the Inter hierarchy to find a resolution.
A statement on the club’s official website, www.inter.it, read: “Inter Milan and Rafael Benitez can announce that they have reached a mutually satisfactory agreement for the early termination of his contract. Inter thank Rafael Benitez for his work in leading his team to success in the Italian Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup.”
Benitez’s agent Manuel Garcia Quilon met on Wednesday with Inter vice-president Rinaldo Ghelfi and technical director Marco Branca, as well as the club lawyer Angelo Capellini.
With the Spaniard back in Liverpool, speculation had been rife for the last 48 hours that he had been dismissed as Inter coach, although the club continued to deny the story until they could agree a compensation package with Benitez.
The 50-year-old’s future at the San Siro had looked bleak after he appeared to issue an ultimatum after leading Inter to success in the Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Benitez called for Inter president Massimo Moratti to back him in the upcoming transfer market after an otherwise poor start to the season or dispense with his services.
The five-time reigning Serie A champions sit seventh in the 2010-11 table while they only qualified second in their Champions League group behind competition debutants Tottenham.
Inter’s season has been undermined by injuries, but with a 13-point gap to make up to leaders and city rivals AC Milan, Benitez came under intense fire just six months into the job.
Benitez always had a tough task in succeeding Jose Mourinho, who led Inter to the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League titles last season before leaving for Real Madrid in the summer.
Injuries to key personnel like Wesley Sneijder have not helped his cause, but the Nerazzurri have won just six of their 15 league games this term. Former Milan boss Leonardo is reportedly set to be appointed as Benitez’s replacement.