Inter Milan Fire Technical Director Marco Branca

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2014

BERGAMO, ITALY - DECEMBER 13:  FC Internazionale Milano Chief Technical Area Marco Branca looks on before the Serie A match between Atalanta and Inter Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on December 13, 2009 in Bergamo, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Inter Milan and Marco Branca reached an agreement to end the technical director's run with the club. Sporting director Piero Ausilio will handle the technical area following the change.

The Italian club made the announcement on its official site following weeks of speculation about Branca's future. Both parties included comments in the release:

The club thanks Marco Branca for the valuable contribution he has made, first as a player and then as a director, and wishes him the best of luck with the next stage of his career.

Mr. Marco Branca also thanks the club for the opportunities it has offered him and for the prestigious results achieved together. He wishes Inter a highly successful future.

Branca spent more than a decade working on the Inter Milan staff following his playing career. His role in recent transfer frustrations, including the recent potential swap featuring Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic, drew the ire of the club's supporters.

The club remains in a transition phase under new president Erick Thohir. So it made sense for the Nerazzurri to start making changes now in order to get prepared for the summer transfer window instead of waiting and getting off to a slow start in the offseason.

Kevin Grech of Malta Today reports the difficult winter window doomed Branca in the end:

Reports from Italy have indicated numerous times that the Technical Director's relationship with Inter would come to an end, but with Moratti at the helm he seemed to stay on.

A difficult transfer campaign and a mess with the Freddy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic swap with Juventus in January 2014 was a big factor in Branca leaving Inter.

Overall club frustration probably played a factor, as well. Inter are currently in sixth place in Serie A, 26 points off the pace of league leaders Juventus. Their inability to remain at least competitive with the top sides isn't typical for the Nerazzurri.

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When that happens, changes usually come next and that's exactly what happened for Inter. Branca had an extended run with the club but it was time for the side to move in another direction and start working to get back among the Serie A elite.

Inter Milan felt now was the time to start the process.