Benitez denies talk of sacking

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ROME, December 21 – Rafael Benitez on Monday brushed aside speculation about his future, the Spaniard stating that he still "feels like the Inter Milan coach" despite media reports here that he is set to be fired by the Italian giants.Benitez looked ever closer to the exit door Sunday after his club president Massimo Moratti blasted the former Liverpool boss for his post-Club World Cup outburst.

Having seen his side beat Congolese outfit Tout Puissant Mazembe 3-0 to win their fifth trophy of the year, Benitez launched a tirade against the powers that be at Inter.

He accused his bosses of failing to support him in the transfer market and accused the players of taking their own decisions.

He said: "Now there are three roads: either the club starts a project and buys four players right now in January or we continue like this with the coach who is the only person to blame or otherwise the president speaks to my agent and we find a solution."

But Benitez, who is spending the winter break on holiday in Liverpool, insisted Monday that he still maintained "good relations" with Moratti.

"I still feel like the Inter coach," Benitez told Spanish Radio Onda Cero in an interview broadcast on Italy’s Sky Sport 24.

"Inter is the strongest team. I want to stay here and to continue to win. I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s up to the president to decide.

"I have not been sacked. Many people that read the newspapers have called me up to ask me if I had been dismissed.

"It’s not true, I am surprised that it has been reported as a done thing.

"I am currently on holiday to rest and then to begin again.

"For months I have heard and read things that are not true."

The Spaniard, who took over the European champions after jose mourinho left for Real Madrid, reiterated his desire for financial backing.

"The president (Moratti), with whom I had spoken prior to that press conference, had already left Abu Dhabi, and the only possibility was to publicly say something which was evident," said Benitez.

"I don’t want to put the president under pressure, but I had spoken to him in the past about my project.

"My project was to include a series of useful players immediately as well as young players for the future.

"Moratti, with whom I have a correct and respectful relationship, liked it.

"The president has to take a decision regarding the line we want to follow.

"While I am here (at Inter) I will work in the best possible way in order for the team to continue to win.

"But in order to win and to do well it is necessary to bring in reinforcements.

"Injuries have hindered us and I don’t want this to happen again.

"The transfer market begins soon and hence, this is the time to speak openly about acquisitions."

Moratti, who had been ambiguous in his support of Benitez leading up to the Club World Cup, refused to answer questions concerning the coache’s future on Monday despite stating at the weekend that the Spaniard had erred in his comments.

He told the club’s website: "I will not speak today. I do not wish to create any controversies with anyone."

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