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 By Ben Gladwell

Walter Mazzarri extends Inter contract

Only last season's top two clubs -- champions Juventus and Roma -- had better defensive records than Inter in Serie A.

Inter Milan have extended the contract of coach Walter Mazzarri by a year until 2016 after he brought European football back to the club last season.

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Mazzarri, 52, took charge of the Nerazzurri in 2013 and led them to fifth in the table -- and with it a place in the Europa League -- after they had ended the previous campaign ninth.

"We're very satisfied to have extended the contract with our coach," Inter president Erick Thohir said on his club's website. "I had always said that our relationship with Mazzarri would proceed. We feel he is one of the key figures in our project.

"I am certain that now he will be able to work with the tranquility he needs, and that he will be able to reward us with much satisfaction."

Mazzarri, formerly in charge of Reggina, Sampdoria and Napoli in Serie A, said that his strong relationship with Thohir was one of the key motivations in his decision to commit to an extra year in charge.

"First of all, I would like to thank Erick for the faith he has shown in me," Mazzarri said. "The president has shown once again that he believes in me and the project we started a year ago. I hope to be able to repay this faith in me with my work on the field.

"I will do everything within my powers to ensure Inter return to the position they deserve in Italy and in Europe."

The 2010 Champions League winners have been unable to reach the heights reached under Jose Mourinho, who departed after beating Bayern Munich in Madrid that May.

Serie A winners in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, they finished second in 2011, sixth a year later and ninth last term.

Meanwhile, Inter have announced the signing of goalkeeper Tommaso Berni from Torino.

The 31-year-old, who was previously part of the club's youth set up, has signed a one-year deal and is expected to be third choice stopper behind Samir Handanovic and Juan Pablo Carrizo.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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