Benitez close to Inter exit

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Rafael Benitez edged closer to the Inter Milan exit on Wednesday night as his agent confirmed talks were ongoing to terminate his contract.

In the first clear acknowledgement that the Spaniard's time at the San Siro is all but up, his agent Manuel Garcia Quilon confirmed to Sky Sport Italia that recent meetings at the club were about ending his tenure.

"We are talking about it, but I cannot say anything more," Quilon said.

The agent had just emerged from a meeting with Inter vice-president Rinaldo Ghelfi and technical director Marco Branca, as well as the club lawyer Angelo Capellini.

"We are neither optimistic nor pessimistic," he added. "We will meet again to talk more."

With Benitez back in Liverpool, speculation has been rife for the last 36 hours that he has been dismissed as Inter coach, but the club have denied the story thus far, with Inter president Massimo Moratti describing the situation as "a bit of a mess" that the club are "trying to understand".

But the 50-year-old looks likely to leave the post after he appeared to issue an ultimatum after leading Inter to success in the FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday.

Benitez called for Moratti to back him in the upcoming transfer market after an otherwise poor start to the season or dispense with his services.

The five-time reigning Serie A champions sit seventh in the 2010-11 table while they only qualified second in their Champions League group behind competition debutants Tottenham.

Inter's season has been undermined by injury, but with a 13-point gap to make up to leaders and city rivals AC Milan, Benitez has come under intense fire just six months into the job. Former AC Milan boss Leonardo has, however, been heavily linked with the post, although Moratti denied any talks between the two parties had taken place.

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