Hodgson to Inter again if no country calls

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Roy Hodgson, the veteran English coach whose prowess remains largely unacknowledged in his own land, yesterday resigned as coach to Finland to take up an undefined role at Internazionale next month. The Englishman, who previously coached the nerazzurri twice in the 1990s, will assist the coach, Roberto Mancini, and work alongside Massimo Moratti, the president.

That is, Hodgson said, unless another country offer him a national job meanwhile. This is not thought to be a "come and get me" message to the Football Association, although Hodgson is on the list of wise men Brian Barwick, the FA chief executive, will consult before choosing Steve McClaren's successor.

Inter, seeking a third successive title, hold a three-point lead in Serie A, and tomorrow travel to Fiorentina, who expect their coach, Cesare Prandelli, to take his place in the dug-out despite the death of his wife from cancer earlier in the week.

Tonight ninth-placed Milan seek their first home league win of the campaign. In Claudio Ranieri's Juventus they face a team second in the table and high on confidence after last week's 5-0 win over Palermo.

In Spain, the leaders, Real Madrid, host Racing Santander this evening. Espanyol can overtake their visitors Barcelona if they win tonight's Catalan derby. In Seville tomorrow, Hector Cuper, once one of the most sought-after coaches in Europe, faces the sack if Real Betis, at home to Atletico Madrid, fail to gain a third win in 14 matches.

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