Former Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has reached a deal to take over at Inter Milan, with the club’s Chinese owners hoping he can restore the former European champions to prominence.
“I’m pleased to be the new coach of Inter,” Spalletti said on Tuesday at Milan’s Malpensa airport before flying to meet Inter’s owners in China. “It’s all done. We shook hands.”
The Suning retail group purchased a majority stake in Inter a year ago. The deal is reportedly for two years and worth 4 million euros ($4.5 million) per season. It comes a week after Spalletti departed Roma, having guided the Giallorossi to a runner-up finish in Serie A.
Inter has not yet announced the deal but the move was widely expected considering Spalletti’s relationship with Inter sporting director Walter Sabatini, who also recently joined from Roma.
“Sabatini is a great person and also capable at his job, which makes things easy,” Spalletti said, according to the ANSA news agency.
Inter has not won a trophy since taking the Club World Cup title in 2011, a year after achieving a treble highlighted by the Champions League title under then-coach Jose Mourinho. Spalletti would become Inter’s fifth coach in less than a year.
Roberto Mancini resigned suddenly last August and was replaced by Frank de Boer, who lasted until November. Stefano Pioli guided the club until early May, when he was fired toward the end of an eight-match winless streak.
Youth coach Stefano Vecchi coached Inter for one match after De Boer’s firing then again for the final three games of the Serie A season after Pioli was fired.
Inter finished seventh in the Italian league last month, missing out on a Europa League spot. Besides two spells at Roma, the 58-year-old Spalletti has also coached Empoli, Sampdoria, Venezia, Udinese, Ancona and Zenit St. Petersburg.