Spalletti leaves Inter Milan with Conte set to take over

Luciano Spalletti is no longer head coach of Inter Milan, the Serie A club announced today. — Reuters pic
Luciano Spalletti is no longer head coach of Inter Milan, the Serie A club announced today. — Reuters pic

MILAN, May 30 ― Luciano Spalletti has left Inter Milan, the Serie A club announced today, with former Italy manager Antonio Conte set to be announced as the club's new coach.

“Luciano Spalletti is no longer head coach of the first team,” Inter said in a statement. “The club wishes to thank Spalletti for his work and the results achieved together.”

Spalletti's exit comes despite sealing Inter's Champions League berth for a second consecutive year on the final day of the Serie A season last Sunday.

But he paid with his job for failing to win any silverare during his two-year spell with the Chinese-owned club, as the 18-time Serie A champions search for a first trophy since the Coppa Italia in 2011.

Inter Milan chairman Steven Zhang paid tribute to the 60-year-old who returned the three-time European winners to the Champions League after a seven-year absence this season.

“A coach, a teacher, a friend,” Zhang wrote on Instagram with a photo of himself alongside Spalletti.

“You have always given your best, either rain or shine. This 2 years of adventure means so much for Inter and for me personally.

“We will never forget your dedication to this team, and we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Once you are the coach of Inter, you would be always my coach. Grazie Mister Spalletti.”

Former Italy and Chelsea coach Conte is reported to have already agreed a three-year deal reportedly worth €9 million (RM42 million) plus bonuses per season to replace Spalletti.

The 49-year-old Conte will be officially announced as the new coach on Friday, Gazzetta Dello Sport reported.

Conte won the first three of Juventus' eight straight Serie A titles and the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea.

Spalletti took over at Inter in mid-2017 having previously coached Zenit Saint Petersburg and Roma.

But it was a season of highs and lows with the club eliminated at the group stage of the Champions League in which they were drawn with Barcelona and Tottenham.

They fell in the last 16 of the Europa League. ― AFP