Mancini returns to Nerazzuri

Roberto Mancini (Supplied)
Roberto Mancini (Supplied)

Milan - Roberto Mancini was confirmed as Inter Milan's new coach on Friday just hours after the struggling Serie A giants sacked Walter Mazzarri.

A statement on the club's website, www.inter.it, quoted club president Erick Thohir as saying: "Happy to welcome back Roberto Mancini. Together we'll make Inter one of the very top Clubs in Europe again."

Mancini returns to the San Siro following a six-year absence, having won three straight Serie A titles during his previous spell from 2004-2008.

Thohir added: "Today I made the difficult decision to suspend Walter Mazzarri as head coach.

"It was a difficult decision because he has been continuously supportive of the direction that we have wanted to take the club, and he has worked tirelessly and selflessly for Inter, with both belief and passion.

"I would like to thank him sincerely for his efforts."

News of Mancini's return was warmly welcomed by Nerazzurri fans throughout the city on Friday.

Mancini, who is expected to sign a two-and-a-half year deal, won three league titles and two Italian Cups in four success-laden years with the Nerazzurri.

Thohir added: "Our goal is to regain our rightful position as one of the very top clubs in Europe and that's why I am so happy to welcome back Roberto Mancini.

"His track record both at Inter and elsewhere speaks for itself, and his international experience and hunger for success will, I know, drive the team to the next level."

Expectations of Mancini's imminent arrival grew when former Inter president Massimo Moratti suggested a deal was done in denying reports he had played a role in influencing Thohir to choose Mancini.

"It was Thohir's idea," said Moratti, who gave up his role as the club's honorary president several weeks ago.

"I'm sorry for Mazzarri. Obviously he did everything he could to make it work.

"I'm happy for Mancini. He's the coach with whom I won the most. He's a very good person and a great coach."

Former Manchester City manager Mancini had been out of work since leaving Galatasaray last season and will be welcomed with open arms by fans frustrated by Inter's failure to perform to expectations under Mazzarri.

Mazzarri, who led Napoli to the Serie A runner-up spot in 2013, joined Inter in time for the start of last season but, despite glimpses of promise, had consistently seen his side underperform.

Inter, Italy's last Champions League winners in 2010, failed to qualify for the competition under previous coach Andrea Stramaccioni, and Mazzarri fared no better last season when Inter could only qualify for the Europa League.

Inter have won only four Serie A games so far this season while suffering heavy defeats to Cagliari (4-1 at home) and Fiorentina (3-0 away) as well as falling 2-0 away to relegation candidates Parma.

Inter currently sit ninth in the league, 12 points behind leaders Juventus.

Reports on Friday also claimed Mancini was set to bring in former England international David Platt, a one-time Juventus and Sampdoria player who speaks fluent Italian, as his assistant after their spell together at City.

Mancini's first game in charge will be a baptism of fire, away to city rivals AC Milan in their shared San Siro ground next week.

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