MILAN - Inter Milan fired coach Gian
Piero Gasperini on Wednesday after he managed only one draw and
four defeats in his first five competitive games in charge.
Former Chelsea, Juventus and AS Roma coach Claudio Ranieri
was widely expected to replace him, with Italian media saying he
was involved in negotiations with the club and would take charge
of training on Thursday.
However, there was no immediate confirmation from Inter that
they were talking to Ranieri.
The final straw for Gasperini was Tuesday night's dismal
performance in a 3-1 defeat at promoted Novara, who had failed
to win in their first two Serie A outings of the season.
"The club thanks Gian Piero Gasperini for the effort he
showed in developing the role, and expresses regret at the
interruption of the working relationship," 2010 European
champions Inter said in a statement on their website.
"At the end of the day, the results have determined
everything," Gasperini told reporters at Inter's training
ground. "I'm very disappointed.
"We had established a good rapport, it's a shame to have had
to interrupt it. There's much regret all round."
Inter added that Daniele Bernazzani and Giuseppe Baresi had
taken charge of training on Wednesday.
Gasperini, 53, is the third coach to leave Inter since the
departure of Jose Mourinho following the 2009/10 treble-winning
season, the club having also parted company with Rafael Benitez
Last year, Inter saw their run of five successive scudettos
ended by neighbours AC Milan and were humiliated by Schalke 04
in the Champions League, losing 5-2 at home to the Germans on
their way to a quarter-final exit.
Striker Samuel Eto'o was sold to Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala
in the close season and replacements Diego Forlan and Mauro
Zarate have so far failed to perform well enough.
Gasperini, who began his coaching career with Juventus'
youth team, had previously spent just over four seasons with
Genoa, leading them out of Serie B and turning them into one of
the most competitive sides in the top flight.
He was also in charge at Crotone from 2003-06. Much of his
playing career was in the second and third divisions, although
he played in Serie A with Pescara.
His appointment in June drew much scepticism as he had never
coached one of the major clubs before.
Critics have already suggested that his downfall was his
insistence on trying to impose a 3-4-3 system, which worked well
at Genoa, on Inter.
Club president Massimo Moratti said last week he would
prefer a four-man defence but Gasperini failed to heed the
Inter visit Bologna in Serie A on Saturday and travel to
CSKA Moscow in the Champions League the following Tuesday having
lost their opening game 1-0 at home to Trabzonspor.
Ranieri made his name when he led Cagliari from Serie C to
Serie A in successive seasons in the late 1980s.
He was manager of English Premier League side Chelsea from
2000 to 2004 and is credited with building the side that went on
to win a succession of domestic titles under Mourinho.
After that, he had six months with Valencia in 2004/05 and
his next coaching job, in 2007, lasted half that time at Parma.
Since then he has had two seasons each with Juventus and Roma.
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