MILAN, May 30 (Reuters) - Former coach Roberto Mancini said on Friday he had asked his lawyer to protect his interests and defend his reputation over the reasons given by Inter Milan for sacking him.
Inter's statement of Mancini's dismissal on Thursday cited an announcement Mancini made after a defeat by Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League in March, when he said he would quit at the end of the season. He changed his mind the next day.
Mancini's lawyer Stefano Gagliardi said on Friday it was too late for the club to use this as a justification for sacking him.
'We abide by the national contract for coaches which says that a club has 10 days from an alleged breach to take action, while any event referred to in the statement happened months ago,' Gagliardi told the ANSA news agency.
Inter's statement also mentioned 'events that emerged recently in the news'.
Gagliardi said this was a reference to wiretaps published in the press from a drugs probe involving a person known to Mancini and some players, even though there was never any suggestion anyone at Inter had done anything wrong.
Mancini said in a statement that he had taken legal action against these reports that had 'offended my honour and reputation'.
He also criticised the club for bringing them into his dismissal.
'I have given my lawyer the job of protecting my image., (while) condemning the behaviour of the employer club in that it tried to exploit false, illicit stories,' he said.
Gagliardi stressed how upset Mancini was at the way his stint had ended at a club he had led to their third consecutive Serie A title earlier this month.
'Mancini is angry and disappointed because he feels injured as a person and troubled; he and his family feel affected by this affair,' he said.
Inter are expected by Italian media to appoint former Chelsea and Porto manager Jose Mourinho as coach to replace Mancini.