Benitez set for Inter talks

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Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has confirmed Rafael Benitez is the number one choice to take over the reins of the European Champions.

Speculation has been rife that Benitez is to be Jose Mourinho's successor since the Spaniard left Liverpool by mutual consent on Thursday, with Italian media expecting a deal to be completed by 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."

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

Inter have been on the lookout for a new coach since Mourinho's departure for Real Madrid after the former Chelsea coach had steered the Nerazzurri to a treble of the Champions League, Serie A title and the Coppa Italia.

Benitez's six-year at Anfield ended on Thursday following a difficult season in which the Reds finished seventh in the Barclays Premier League and failed to get past the Champions League group stages.

However, the 50-year-old 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.

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

The Inter chief added: "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."

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.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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