President Massimo Moratti has refused to blame Claudio Ranieri for Inter’s Champions League exit, but the tactician’s future remains in doubt.
The Nerazzurri crashed out of the competition on Tuesday after Marseille struck a late goal in a 2-1 loss to progress on the away goals rule.
“On an evening like this I don’t feel like taking any action,” the oil baron stated as he left the Stadio Meazza.
“I don't see how Ranieri is to blame – it’s more to do with the luck his French counterpart Didier Deschamps had.
“If we had lost 4-0, I might have seen things differently, but after conceding two goals in stoppage time [over the two legs] I don't feel I can give a negative assessment. Ranieri doesn't deserve it.”
However, the Gazzetta dello Sport is adamant that only one thing can save Ranieri from the summer axe – a top three finish.
The tactician is contracted until June 2013 after he replaced Gian Piero Gasperini in September, but his job is on the line.
Out of the Coppa Italia and Europe, the Nerazzurri will end the campaign without any silverware – and they could fail to qualify for the Champions League if third isn’t achieved.
Inter are currently seventh, eight points behind third-placed Lazio.
The Gazzetta adds that recently axed Chelsea boss Andre Villas Boas is in pole position to replace Ranieri at the end of the season.
France Coach and former Inter defender Laurent Blanc is another candidate.