Monday December 20 2010
Spalletti favourite to replace Rafa

Zenit St. Petersburg boss Luciano Spalletti has reportedly been contacted about the prospect of replacing Rafa Benitez at Inter.

This morning's La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Inter President Massimo Moratti has finally lost patience with Benitez notwithstanding Saturday's victory in the Club World Cup.

Benitez's 'back me or sack me' plea has irritated Moratti who had considered dismissing the former Liverpool manager last month after a dreadful run of results.

Spalletti has been installed as the No 1 favourite for the post at San Siro despite his frequent pledges of commitment to Zenit.

La Gazzetta understands Spalletti is in a strong position at Zenit and not just because he won the Russian Premier League in his debut season at the helm.

The club's transfer strategy has yet to take off and Spalletti is said to be concerned that primary targets like Domenico Criscito and Felipe won't be signed.

Whether that is cause enough for him to grow disillusioned remains to be seen, but Moratti apparently believes Spalletti is the right man for the medium to long term.

Extricating the former Roma tactician could be difficult, though, so Inter are drawing up a list of alternatives.

Leonardo is being mentioned as a competitor for the post, as Moratti apparently likes his style of football and the way he dealt with Silvio Berlusconi's criticism last season.

If Inter struggle to hire one of their top targets, it's rumoured that club legend Walter Zenga will be hired on a short-term basis.