x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Inter take their time in finding Benitez replacement

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti insists he will not appoint a new coach until after Christmas.

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti insists he will not appoint a new coach until after Christmas.

Rafael Benitez this week departed the club after an ignominious six-month spell at the San Siro. Speculation has grown this week that former AC Milan coach Leonardo - who was also a favourite as a player for Inter's city rivals - is the likeliest replacement.

However, Moratti urged patience yesterday, saying: "Something will happen after Christmas, from the 27th of December onwards".

The Inter supremo also rejected suggestions Leonardo would represent a snub to his club's rivals Milan.

Asked if it would be Leonardo, Moratti told reporters: "We'll see, I will tell you when we decide.

"All the people we have in mind are experienced, brave and intelligent. However, when the time comes we'll tell."

"I never make this kind of reasoning, I do not live out of spite," he said. "And I would be disappointed if it were interpreted in this way."

Leonardo has refused to be drawn on speculation he is set to replace Benitez.

"I know less than you," he told Sky Sport 24. "The only thing that I can say now is merry Christmas to you."