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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Moratti: AVB talk is just 'rumours'

Inter president Massimo Moratti insists that there has been no contact with former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas as speculation over Claudio Ranieri's job continues.

Inter have lost seven of their last nine games in all competitions and face Marseille in the Champions League knowing that an early exit could see Ranieri sacked. The club's last Serie A game was a 2-2 fightback against Catania, but Moratti is not ready to pull the trigger and replace him with Villas-Boas yet.

"These are just rumours, absolutely," he said. "I saw parts of the Catania game. My mood was disastrous during the worst part of the match, when we were losing, then I have to say it was very important to have that fightback and show of character, while there were also improvements in the football. This can count for a great deal in certain terms, as it gives us a wake-up call."

Asked whether Inter could overturn a 1-0 defeat against Marseille to qualify, he replied: "Marseille? There's time. Yes, I have spoken with Ranieri."

Meanwhile, the agent of France head coach Laurent Blanc says he has heard nothing from Inter regarding his client.

A report in Le Parisien claimed that Blanc was top of the shortlist to replace Ranieri, but Jean-Pierre Bernes told RMC: "Laurent Blanc is a well-known coach in Europe. He has proven himself. He is no longer a rookie.

"With his aura and the respect which other coaches have for him, he does not leave any club president indifferent. He is free to do whatever he wants. He owns his future. Every club president knows that he is nearing the end of his contract. Anything is possible. Inter? There has been no contact."

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