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By ESPN Staff

Inter chief: Sacking Mancini not a whim

MILAN, May 31 (Reuters) - Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti said his decision to sack Roberto Mancini was made in the best interests of the club. Moratti fired Mancini as coach on Thursday, 11 days after he led Inter to their third consecutive Serie A title. 'It was not a whim,' he told Corriere della Sera. 'The most simple solution would have been to have continued with the coach with whom we won three consecutive championships. If I intervened it was because I thought it was necessary, not against the coach, but in the interests of Inter.' Moratti blamed 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 -- only to change his mind the next day. 'This created imbalances within the team that forced everyone, managers and players included, to double and triple their energies,' he said. 'It's true that we all rowed in the same direction, but we were forced to row harder.' Inter suffered a drop in form after that defeat and almost threw the title away. They sealed the scudetto on the final day having let an 11-point lead in February get whittled down to one. Mancini said on Friday he had asked his lawyer to defend his interests and reputation. Speculation that Jose Mourinho is about to take Mancini's place was fuelled on Saturday by the publication of photographs of the former Chelsea boss with Moratti in another newspaper, which said they were taken outside a Paris restaurant on Friday.

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