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Moratti confirms Inter will move for Benitez

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has confirmed that former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is the number one choice to replace Jose Mourinho as manager of the reigning European champions.

Benitez ended his six-year tenure at Anfield by mutual consent on Thursday and he has been heavily touted as the favourite for the vacant Nerazzurri hotseat, left empty after Mourinho's departure to Real Madrid last month.

And Moratti has now revealed that he will open talks with Benitez - who had previously been linked with the Juventus manager's job while he was still at Liverpool - over the next few days, though the Italian media have suggested that a deal may be completed as early as Monday.

"I can only speak well of him because he is very good,'' Moratti said in an interview to Corriere dello Sport. "Yes, that is the direction and in the next few days we will see, we will decide.

"It's also important that he has always done well in Europe, to continue to get joy from the Champions League is our aim.''

Benitez has big boots to fill at the San Siro after Mourinho steered Inter to a treble of Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia triumphs before leaving for the Bernabeu.

But the former Valencia boss has enjoyed success in Europe, notably in 2005 when he steered Liverpool to the Champions League trophy with a memorable victory over Inter's bitter rivals AC Milan.

And Benitez is also the coach who has inflicted the most number of defeats on Mourinho, a fact of which Moratti is well aware.

"I know, I know. He beat him five times, right? It is a sign that he is prepared, that he works well and that he doesn't make mistakes in important games," Moratti said.

Reports suggest Inter director Marco Branca is on his way to Sardinia to meet with Benitez who is currently on holiday on the Italian island.

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