|Rafael Benitez denies being dismissed by Inter Milan|
Monday, 20 December 2010 17:04
Inter Milan manager Rafael Benitez has denied reports that he has been sacked by the European and Italian champions.
Former Liverpool boss Benitez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero on Monday: "I have not been fired.
"I am surprised because I have seen a lot of headlines and I have been phoned by a lot of people asking me if I have been fired, and it is not true at all."
However, Inter president Massimo Moratti has refused to comment on Benitez's future at the club.
The Spaniard led Inter to victory in the Club World Cup on Saturday with a 3-0 win over TP Mazembe before urging Inter's board to back him.
The club, currently seventh in Serie A, insisted subsequent reports that Benitez had parted company with them were just rumours.
"I prefer not to talk today [Monday] to avoid the risk of creating controversies," said Moratti.
Manuel Garcia Quilon, who represents Benitez, also denied his client had reached the end of the road at Inter.
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"Benitez is under contract with Inter and the situation is the same as it was before," he said.
"Benitez said what he said and he does not need to explain himself further. I have not been contacted by anyone."
Inter may have won the Club World Cup
to claim their fifth trophy of 2010 but they are well off the pace in this season's
They have won only one of their last six league games and go into Italian's football's winter break 13 points behind leaders and city rivals AC Milan.
However, Inter do have two games in hand on the teams above them and next play on 6 January at home to Napoli.
Although Benitez can point to injuries to key players for his team's plight, he is reportedly under pressure barely seven months after
to succeed Jose Mourinho.
Speaking after Saturday's victory, Benitez said: "There are three possibilities for the club. One, 100% support for the coach and buy four or five players to build a stronger team with competition among the players to be able to carry on winning matches and trophies.
"Two, carry on like this without a project, without planning, and go ahead with one person to blame, for the whole season.
"The third," he added, "is to speak to my agent to reach an agreement if there is not this support. Simple."
Despite stating Benitez's comments "were not suitable for the situation", Moratti praised Inter's coach for the way he masterminded the Club World Cup win.
"For the moment the Inter fans are happy," said Moratti. "It is not the moment to ask for reinforcements."
The Inter president added: "He [Benitez] managed the game very well, I saw his handywork."
Under former coach Mourinho last season, Inter won the Serie A title, the Italian Cup and the Champions League.
Story from BBC SPORT