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Leonardo top candidate to replace Inter's Benitez
Gazzetta dello Sport, December 22nd, 2010 4:03PM

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Brazilian Leonardo, who coached AC Milan in 2009-10, is the favorite to replace Spaniard Rafael Benitez if Italian champion Inter Milan dumps the first-year coach.

"At the moment, Benitez is the coach and I haven't contacted any other coaches," said Inter president Massimo Moratti, denying rumors that his front office was meeting to remove Benitez, who arrived from Liverpool after Jose Mourinho left for Real Madrid.

Eladio Parames, Mourinho's agent, denied a meeting was held to determine if Mourinho was interested in returning to Inter.  "Jose has a contract with Real Madrid and he will honor it. Will he leave at the end of the season? I think it would be difficult, although in football, you never know; it will depend on the season and the club, but it's not normal for Mou to leave a project after just one year. He has never done that."

Italian Luciano Spalletti, the coach of Russia's Zenith St. Petersburg, was also ruled out as a potential replacement.

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