Milan - Roberto Mancini was expected to be confirmed as Inter Milan's new coach after the struggling Serie A giants confirmed the sacking of Walter Mazzarri on Friday.
A short statement by the club on www.inter.it said: "F.C. Internazionale announces that Walter Mazzarri has been relieved of his duties as first team coach.
"The club would like to thank Mazzarri for the commitment, dedication and professionalism he showed over his 17 months in charge. Today's training session will be taken by Giuseppe Baresi."
The announcement followed reports that Mancini, who won three league titles in a successful four-year spell with the club, was on the verge of signing a two-and-a-half year deal to take over the Nerazzurri.
Although the club have yet to confirm Mancini as coach, former Inter goalkeeper Walter Zenga, practically did so when he posted a message on Twitter claiming that he had also been in the 'frame' for the job.
"They have chosen Mancini. I was in the frame, my dream was close. It's a pity, maybe in another life. Thanks to everyone," said Zenga.
Expectations of Mancini's imminent arrival also grew when former Inter president Massimo Moratti denied reports he had played a role in influencing club president Erick 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 has been out of work since leaving Galatasaray last season but, if confirmed, 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), 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.
The Italian is also expected to revolutionise Inter's tactics, ditching the 3-5-2 system used by Mazzarri for a more open, attacking 4-4-2.
Recent reports claimed that Thohir, the Indonesian businessman who bought a 70 percent stake in the club from Moratti a year ago, had given Mazzarri until the Milan derby next week before deciding the 53-year-old Mazzarri's future.
However Mancini is now expected to be appointed in time to take charge of Inter's San Siro clash away to their city rivals a week on Sunday.
Serie A action resumes next weekend following the international break.