|Despite domestic success, Roberto Mancini’s failure in
the Champions League has cost him [GALLO/GETTY]
Italian Serie A champions Inter Milan have announced the sacking of coach Roberto Mancini, less than two weeks after the club clinched its third straight Serie A title.
Inter issued a statement confirming the dismissal, which had been widely expected since Mancini met with club president Massimo Moratti on Tuesday to discuss his future.
The club said it was upset with comments Mancini made after it lost to Liverpool in the Champions League quarterfinals.
The coach announced then he would resign at the end of the season, but changed his mind a few days later.
Mancini’s contract with Inter lasts through 2012, and the decision to fire him could draw legal action from the coach.
Mancini rejected the club’s initial offer of a $7.8 million severance payoff, the Gazzetta dello Sport reported Thursday.
Mancini’s contract is worth $9.4 million per season.
Former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho is being rumoured to replace Mancini, who in turn has been linked with the vacant Chelsea job.
It was unclear what problems arose between Moratti and Mancini, who was the most successful Inter coach in the last 40 years, winning the “scudetto” in three of his four seasons in charge.
However, the 2006 title was only awarded to Inter after Juventus was stripped of the honor for the Italian match-fixing scandal.
Last year’s title also came with some help, with Juventus relegated to Serie B and AC Milan penalized eight points.
And Inter had trouble closing out this year’s league, opening up an 11-point lead over AS Roma in February but then having to clinch on the final day of the season.
The 43-year-old Mancini joined Inter in 2004 and led the Nerazzurri to a third-place finish in Serie A and an Italian Cup title in his first season in charge.
After a distinguished playing career with Sampdoria and Lazio, Mancini began his coaching career with Fiorentina in 2000-01 and 2001-02, then took over Lazio for two seasons before moving to Inter.
Mancini is the ninth coaching casualty under Moratti, following Ottavio Bianchi, Roy Hodgson, Luigi Simoni, Mircea Lucescu, Marcello Lippi, Marco Tardelli, Hector Cuper and Alberto Zaccheroni.