Home » Latest, Serie A » Andre Villas-Boas linked with Inter Milan job

Andre Villas-Boas has been earmarked for a swift return to management after emerging as the shock frontrunner to replace Claudio Ranieri at Inter Milan.

Ranieri was given a stay of execution by Inter president Massimo Moratti on Wednesday but still seems certain to be axed in the summer, with 12 months left on his San Siro contract.

With the former Chelsea boss on borrowed time, the search is underway for a new coach and is focusing increasingly on Villas-Boas, according to sources in Milan.

Walter Mazzarri is the other leading candidate, but with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis already firing a warning shot at Inter, Moratti is in no mood for an expensive, protracted battle to prise him away and is leaning more and more towards Villas-Boas.

‘There is no truth in the rumours linking our coach with Inter,’ fumed De Laurentiis.

‘He has a contract with us, and our working partnership will continue for at least a further year.’

Villas-Boas’ availability, after his recent sacking by Chelsea, and previous record of success at Academica and Porto, has put him in pole position to take over, ahead of Mazzarri and ex-England boss Fabio Capello, who played down his prospects by telling Sky Sport Italia: ‘I can exclude a future at Inter. I am 100 per cent sure of that.’

Moratti did his best to shield Ranieri from growing criticism, after Tuesday’s Champions League exit at the hands of Marseille, by saying: ‘It was disappointing, but it was not Ranieri’s fault. He did not make a mistake, and I will not be changing the coach right now.’

It is only a matter of time, though, and Villas-Boas appears primed to step back into the limelight, either at the end of the season or earlier, if Inter continue their decline and miss out on third place in Serie A.

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