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Leonardo has left Inter in the similar manner in which he arrived: immersed in controversy.

His tenure began in a cloud of turbulence, picking up the pieces from Rafa Benitez.  With Inter in seventh place behind Leonardo’s former club, AC Milan, it was a risky move for all parties involved.  In Leo’s brief six months at the helm as Inter coach, his winning percentage was surprisingly successful, despite widespread doubts regarding his tactics.  In the end, Leonardo was unable to overcome the Rossoneri, but was able to round out Inter’s season with a tripletino by winning the Coppa Italia.

For Inter, it began as any other normal transfer window week, with questions of where key players may or may not turn up next season.  According to French paper L’Equipe, Leo allegedly flew to Qatar last weekend to meet the new owners of Paris St. Germain (PSG).  As the week progressed, developments regarding Leo’s future started to take shape.  While Inter initially refuted claims of the meeting in Qatar, whispers grew stronger that Leonardo was going to leave his post as Nerazzurri head coach and head back to his former club, PSG, in a directorial role.

It was announced yesterday that Leonardo had officially left Inter, after three days of speculation.

His shock departure has left Inter in the search for a new manager.  Marcelo Bielsa was strongly linked earlier in the week, but due to personal reasons, contract talks did not progress.  This has left a slew of coaches associated with the Nerazzurri job.

According to the media, no less than ten names have been linked to the managerial opening.  These names include England manager Fabio Capello, Porto’s Andre Villas-Boas, Fiorentina’s Siniša Mihajlović, ex-Palermo coach Delio Rossi, former Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini, ex-Brazil coach Carlos Dunga, ex- Olympiacos coach Zico, current Turkey boss Guus Hiddink, and Inter legend Walter Zenga, to name a few.  With each day that has passed, there have been different frontrunners for the job, with the latest being Villas-Boas and Capello.

President Massimo Moratti has stated that this “will be a weekend of work” and that Inter are in no hurry and will “evaluate their choices.”  When asked by the media as to the closeness of finding a new coach, he stated “next week.”

There will be no doubt that an endless list of names will be speculated upon in the upcoming days as to who will be the next Inter coach.  Inter have its hands full, evaluating all of the prospective candidates who have thrown their hats into the ring.  A decision may come as early as Monday or Tuesday in naming Leonardo’s successor.  With ritiro only weeks away, Interisti are waiting with baited breath to hear the name of the next Nerazzurri leader.

Read TB’s earlier piece on this story here and follow her on Twitter

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