Bookies back Mourinho | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 13, 2008

Bookies back Mourinho


Jose Mourinho

Former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has been installed as the Italian media's favourite for the Inter Milan job after Roberto Mancini's surprise announcement that he was leaving at the end of the season.
Earlier this term Italian media reports said Inter owner Massimo Moratti had held informal talks with Mourinho but the club and the Portuguese denied it.
Mourinho, who left Chelsea in September, did say he admired Moratti for his work at the Italian champions.
“I respect him very much as a person that loves football and his club deeply,” Mourinho told Gazzetta dello Sport last week. “However, I have never talked with him.”
Mancini announced his decision after Tuesday's Champions League last 16 defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
The 43-year-old gave no reason, only adding that he had informed his players. Media reports said Mancini also indicated he would not manage in Italy again.
However, Inter midfielder Esteban Cambiasso has cast doubt on the announcement despite Mancini sounding definite.
“As far as I know, he said 'probably', so there's no need for reactions or comments in the heat of the moment,” he told reporters.
Moratti has yet to make a comment and he may try to talk Mancini out of it.
The coach said his decision was not because of the Liverpool defeat and media reports could only speculate about why he should want to walk away with a four-year contract remaining and Inter six points clear in Serie A.
Another early Champions League elimination clearly hurts while he may have become unsettled by the earlier reports linking Mourinho with a job that was not then available.
Mancini, who took over in 2004, may also be bored after Inter romped to the Italian title last season and have only had AS Roma as challengers this term.
If his decision is definite, Fiorentina's Cesare Prandelli would also be a candidate to take over while Liverpool's Rafael Benitez has had his problems with the club's owners this season.
The Spaniard gave the usual line of being happy at Liverpool when asked in Tuesday's post-match news conference if Inter appealed.
Inter may have to move fast if Mourinho is their first choice. The colourful tactician has been linked with Barcelona and AC Milan, whose respective coaches Frank Rijkaard and Carlo Ancelotti are under pressure after disappointing seasons.

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