Ranieri tipped for Inter as Gasperini pays for poor start

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The Independent Football

Internazionale sacked coach Gian Piero Gasperini yesterday hours after a dismal display by the 2010 European champions when they lost 3-1 at promoted Novara in Serie A. Gasperini, 53, managed only one draw and four defeats in his first five competitive games in charge and became the third coach to leave the Milan club since the departure of Jose Mourinho after the 2009-10 treble-winning season.

"At the end of the day, the results have determined everything," said Gasperini. "I'm very disappointed. We had established a good rapport, it's a shame to have to interrupt it. There's much regret all round."

Inter said that Daniele Bernazzani and Giuseppe Baresi took charge of training yesterday morning. Reports from Italy indicate Claudio Ranieri as favourite to take over the reins, with Luis Figo, Delio Rossi and Walter Zenga also rated as possible replacements.

Last year, Inter saw their run of five successive league titles ended by city neighbours Milan and were humiliated by Schalke 04 in the Champions League, losing 5-2 at home to the Germans as they went out in the quarter-finals. Striker Samuel Eto'o was sold to Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala in the close season and his replacements, Diego Forlan and Mauro Zarate, have both so far failed to impress.

Gasperini, who began his coaching career with the Juventus youth team, had previously spent four seasons with Genoa, leading them out of Serie B. But his appointment in June drew much scepticism as he had never coached one of the major clubs before.

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