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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 18, 2008

Mancini rumours grow after media no-show

MILAN, May 18 (Reuters) - Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini sparked fresh speculation about his future by staying quiet after his side secured the Italian title with a 2-0 win at Parma on Sunday. The 43-year-old said in March he would quit at the end of the season but the next day club president Massimo Moratti said his coach would be staying. Rumours that former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has been lined up to take over have not gone away, however, despite club denials. 'I hope Mancini stays, Everyone wants him to,' Inter chief executive Ernesto Paolillo told reporters. Moratti also hailed his coach, who had been criticised in recent weeks after Inter let slip an 11-point lead in February to head into Sunday's final round of matches just a point clear of second-placed AS Roma. 'We have won a championship while all Italy was against us. Ours is a beautiful club that deserves the victory. The lads have been formidable, the coach has kept them calm,' he said. 'Mancini has been fantastic and has resisted getting involved in all the nonsense that has been going around.' Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who returned from injury to score the two goals at Parma, also stayed clear of reporters but team mate Patrick Vieira happily chatted away. Inter romped to the title last term with little competition but the France captain preferred winning it the hard way. 'This scudetto is better than last year's. Compliments to Roma, who gave everything, but I think the strongest side won,' he said. Roma coach Luciano Spalletti was philosophical after watching his side draw 1-1 at Catania, who stayed up as Parma and Empoli joined Livorno in going down. 'Roma is a club which is growing a lot. It is a project to take forward, everyone has done their duty,' he said, aware that billionaire George Soros has shown interest in buying the club. Fresh investment on the field is certainly expected at last season's European champions AC Milan, who will play in the UEFA Cup next season after finishing a disappointing fifth. 'Our main objective next season will certainly be the championship, we will do everything possible and necessary to reach this objective,' said coach Carlo Ancelotti, who has been assured he will stay in the Milan hotseat. 'We are in the UEFA Cup, a trophy Milan have never won and therefore I think it could become a good stimulus.' Talks are planned with Gennaro Gattuso and Paolo Maldini to see if the pair will stay while several new arrivals are expected with Barcelona's Gianluca Zambrotta top of the list and a revived bid for Ronaldinho also possible.

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