Former Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri is on the move just days after stepping down from his post at Stadio San Paolo, and has been named as the new manager for Inter Milan for the upcoming season.
CNN's Tancredi Palmeri had the news on Twitter:
JUST IN: Inter new manager is Walter Mazzarri— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) May 24, 2013
ESPN FC confirmed the move once the club announced Mazzarri's place as manager became official:
Inter Milan have announced that Walter Mazzarri will replace Andrea Stramaccioni as their head coach.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 24, 2013
Inter's official website also released a statement on Friday afternoon after reports leaked linking Mazzarri to the club as its new manager. Here's that press release in its entirety:
FC Internazionale would like to announce that the club has appointed Walter Mazzarri as the new head coach. FC Internazionale would like to thank Andrea Stramaccioni for the great commitment and professionalism he showed in a particularly difficult year. Walter Mazzarri has signed a two-year deal.
The news comes on the same day it was reported that former Inter manager Andrea Stramaccioni was fired. Milan finished ninth in the Serie A table following the completion of the 2012-13 campaign and didn't factor a win in any of their final four fixtures in league play. Although his contract ran through 2015, team president Massimo Moratti made the tough choice to let him go in favor of new blood on the sidelines.
Interisti Kaskus had this tweet with a direct quote from Moratti about the move:
Moratti: "I chose Mazzarri myself." Mazzarri signs a Two-year contract.— Interisti Kaskus (@InteristiKasKus) May 24, 2013
Mazzarri will take over the difficult task of bringing glory back to San Siro Stadium.
He led Napoli to a second-place finish in Serie A play this season, and also captained the team to a first-place finish in the Coppa Italia during the 2011-12 campaign. Napoli will also be in Champions League play next season for the second time in the last three years. He went 1-1 against Inter Milan with Napoli this year, including a 3-1 victory at home on May 5.
Inter Milan will be the seventh club that Mazzarri has coached since his playing days have been behind him. Other stops include Livorno, Reggina and Sampdoria.
The 51-year-old Mazzarri declined a contract extension during the middle of his fourth and final season with Napoli, stating at the time of his exit that he felt the need to move on at this stage of his managerial career (h/t Sports Illustrated via the AP).
What grade would you give Inter Milan's hire of Mazzarri?
Speculation about Mazzarri joining Inter after his resignation at Napoli has been rampant over the last few days. The club made the move official on Friday just hours after announcing it had parted ways with Stramaccioni earlier in the day.
Livorno president Aldo Spinelli, who hired Mazzarri in 2003, is among those who thinks that he is the right man to help turn things around at Inter Milan. In a report from Football Italia, Spinelli endorses Mazzarri as one of the top minds in Italian football right now.
Inter Milan has a long way to go after a disappointing season, but the hiring of Mazzarri will certainly incite fans to get excited about the possibility of improvement during Mazzarri's first season at the helm.