Football: Inter confirm Mancini's exit; de Boer lined up to replace him, say Italian media

Coach Roberto Mancini is due to be forced out by new Chinese owners at Italian Serie A club Inter Milan.
Coach Roberto Mancini is due to be forced out by new Chinese owners at Italian Serie A club Inter Milan. PHOTO: REUTERS

MILAN (AFP) Coach Roberto Mancini said his farewells to the blue and black stripes of Inter Milan on Monday after the club confirmed his exit, amid media reports that the Serie A giants' new Chinese owners wanted fresh blood to rejuvenate the team.

"F.C. Internazionale Milano confirms that it has parted company with head coach Roberto Mancini by mutual agreement," the club said in a statement, adding it wanted to "place on the record" its thanks to the Italian coach.

Mancini is tipped in the media to be replaced by Dutch coach Frank de Boer.

The club's Chinese owners, the Suning group, had been out for Mancini after Inter lost 6-1 to Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly in Oslo on Thursday, Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

The 51-year-old had been coach for two years, having previously led Inter to three league titles and two Coppa Italias during his first spell in charge between 2004 and 2008. The former Manchester City manager had been under contract until 2017.

He was given severance pay of €2.5 million (S$3.73 million) net, and will take his entire staff with him, Corriere dello Sport said.

"I want to thank the Nerazzurri fans, who have always supported me with passion and loyalty," Mancini said on Twitter. "I thank the players who in these past 20 months have been splendid and impeccable professionals," he said, wishing the club "a future full of satisfaction".

Mancini, first sacked by Inter in 2008, went on to manage Manchester City for nearly four years before coaching Galatasaray in 2013. Though he returned to Inter, he was unable to usher them back into the Champions League and finished fourth last season.

He was rumoured to have fallen out seriously with the club's chiefs in July after they failed to snap up one of his transfer targets, Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure.

While Mancini hoped Toure would boost performance at the San Siro after an inconsistent season, Inter refused to stump up the funds for the 33-year old, the reports said.

His likely replacement, de Boer, the most capped outfield player in the history of the Netherlands football team, left Ajax at the end of last season.

The 46-year-old could be appointed within the day, media reports said. The Dutchman had been linked with English Premier League clubs Southampton and Everton before those positions were filled.

At Inter, he will have under two weeks to sign more players before the Serie A season starts against Chievo on Aug 21.

The prestigious club was bought by a Chinese billionaire with connections to President Xi Jinping in June.

Zhang Jindong's Suning retail giant paid €270 million for 70 per cent of the three-time European champions. He promised to pour funds into Inter in the hope of putting them back among the top 10 European clubs.

Inter have been under foreign control since 2013, when Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir took a 70 per cent stake. With the Chinese sale, Thohir's International Sports Capital became the sole minority shareholder and Thohir retained his position as club president.