Simone Inzaghi joins Inter Milan from Lazio on a two-year deal; 45-year-old replaces Antonio Conte, who left the San Siro just weeks after leading Inter to their first league title in 11 years; Inzaghi handed boost after Romelu Lukaku reveals he wants to stay at Inter amid Chelsea interest
Thursday 3 June 2021 12:46, UK
Inter Milan have appointed Lazio's Simone Inzaghi as their new manager, with the Italian signing a two-year deal to replace Antonio Conte.
Inzaghi arrives at the San Siro after five years as Lazio boss, during which he led them back into the Champions League group stages for the first time since the 2007/08 season.
Before being promoted to manage the first team in 2016, the 45-year-old had coached a number of Lazio's youth sides.
As senior manager, Inzaghi qualified Lazio for European competition in each of his five full seasons in charge, including a run to the Champions League last 16 in the 2020/21 campaign.
The former Lazio and Italy striker also led the club to a Coppa Italia title in 2019, as well as two Italian Super Cup successes.
Inzaghi was handed a boost before even being confirmed as Inter's new boss when striker Romelu Lukaku revealed he is planning to stay at the club for next season.
Chelsea are interested in signing their former player, who scored 30 times for Inter in 2020/21, with the Italian side understood to be looking for £100m for the 28-year-old.
But despite Inter's desire to raise funds this summer, Lukaku told Belgian broadcaster VTN on Wednesday: "Yes, I am staying.
"I've already had contact with the man who normally becomes our new manager [Inzaghi]. Maybe I shouldn't say that yet... but it was a very positive conversation.
"There's also the challenge of doing it again [winning the league with Inter]. I feel good at Inter."
Inzaghi's predecessor Conte left Inter just weeks after securing their first Serie A title in 11 years, amid a disagreement with the board over their plans to cut costs.
Conte is now in talks with Tottenham about replacing Jose Mourinho as manager, although it is understood the two parties are yet to reach an agreement over the former Chelsea boss' wage demands.
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
"Antonio Conte is one of the best managers in the world, and now he is unemployed, although he has got a €7m (£6m) pay-off from Inter Milan. There had been crunch talks going on about his future and he was very unhappy about the fact that the owners of the club had asked him just a few days after winning the Italian title for the first time in 11 years to cut costs.
"They wanted him to shave around €100m (£86m) off Inter's budget for next season and Conte was very unhappy about that. He basically said that he had won the title, he had done what had been asked of him, but when it came to Europe, they had finished bottom of their Champions League group.
"Next season, he wanted to win the title again and to win the Champions League. He wanted to make them a force in Europe again, and he claimed he would not be able to do that if they were asking him to sell some of his best players to cut the wage bill. He said he could not manage with one hand tied behind his back and that's the reason why he has decided to go.
"The question people will be asking is why Inter's owners have allowed this to happen? This is a manager who has won titles at Juventus as both a player and as a manager. He's someone who has won titles at Chelsea and he's done it again at Inter.
"The owners of Inter are a Chinese retail giant called Suning, which also owned the reigning Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu Suning. They won the Chinese title in November but just a few months later, Suning turned around and said they were closing the club down due to financial problems.
"They wanted to step back from football, and that's exactly what they have done at their other club as well, Inter Milan. They felt it was costing them too much money. Conte heard what they have had to say and decided that is not how he operates."