Luciano Spalletti takes over as Inter Milan boss

Date published: Friday 9th June 2017 4:04

Former Roma boss Luciano Spalletti has accepted the challenge of restoring Inter Milan’s fortunes after agreeing a two-year contract as Nerazzurri head coach.

The 58-year-old guided Roma to second place in Serie A with an impressive 87-point haul last season but off-field issues hastened his exit from the Stadio Olimpico last month.

Inter, who finished a poor seventh in 2016-17, have chosen Spalletti to lead a renewed charge at the European places after a underwhelming campaign under Frank de Boer and then Stefano Pioli.

A statement published on the Milan club’s official website on Friday afternoon said Certaldo-born tactician Spalletti would be unveiled on Wednesday before taking training for the first time on July 3.

Former Spezia midfielder Spalletti made his name as a manager with Udinese over a decade ago before embarking on a successful first tenure at Roma, where he won the Coppa Italia twice.

He departed the Eternal City for Zenit St Petersburg in December 2009 and won three major Russian titles before his sacking a little over three years ago.

In January 2016 he succeeded Rudi Garcia at Roma and turned the team around to clinch third place.

By getting the best out of the likes of Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, winger Mohamed Salah and Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman, the Giallorossi ran eventual champions Juventus close throughout 2016-17 and only surrendered their hopes of winning the Scudetto in the penultimate match.

It was, however, his relationship with another player, 40-year-old striker Francesco Totti, that precipitated his second departure from Roma, with the veteran regularly left on the bench despite supporter calls for him to play a bigger role in his final season for the club.

Totti’s last game – a 3-2 victory over Genoa – was marked by a negative reception for Spalletti and two days later he was out of work.

The most experienced Serie A coach still operating in the division must now fulfil the lofty demands of Inter owners Suning Holdings, the Chinese company which bought the club last summer.

The owners dismissed Roberto Mancini before the season started and former Ajax boss De Boer fared no better, with well-travelled Italian coach Pioli briefly stabilising the side before another slide.

City rivals AC Milan – also under Chinese ownership – have already made progress in the transfer market by recruiting Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio and Franck Kessie and Spalletti will hope to attract players who might deliver a return to the Champions League for the 2010 treble winners.

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