ROME (AFP) - Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez looked ever closer to the exit door on Sunday after his club president Massimo Moratti blasted the Spaniard for his post-Club World Cup outburst.
Having seen his side beat Congolese Tout Puissant Mazembe 3-0 to win the trophy, Benitez launched into a tirade against the powers that be at the Italian club.
The former Liverpool and Valencia boss accused his bosses of failing to support him in the transfer market and accused the players of taking their own decisions.
But Moratti, who had been ambiguous in his support of Benitez leading up to the Club World Cup, said his coach had erred.
Asked if Benitez's quotes had ruined the party, Moratti replied: "No, for the moment no.
"They weren't suitable for the situation but for the moment the Inter fan is happy."
And pressed on the Spaniard's future, Moratti added: "I'm not going to talk about Benitez for the moment."
However, the speculation in Italy is that Benitez's time is up and his attack on the Inter hierarchy may just have made their minds up.
What was unprecedented is that Benitez had always towed the party line before Saturday's victory and had never spoken out against his bosses.
"Now we will have a calmer period but to go forward we need total support, if we get that we can improve," said Benitez.
"By support I mean first and foremost in the transfer market. I've spoken to Moratti and he knows what about.
"I've always done my job, right from the beginning and I need to have control of the players and what they do.
"If I have this support, which you should always have and should be total, otherwise you're always blaming someone and the team doesn't improve."
And Benitez suggested that if he didn't get that support, then he would even be prepared to walk away from the club.
"I deserve respect. I've shouldered all the blows and all the responsabilities but in August the club promised me three players but no-one arrived," fumed Benitez.
"Now there are three roads: either the club starts a project and buys four players right now in January or we continue like this with the coach who is the only person to blame or otherwise the president speaks to my agent and we find a solution.
"Last year Moratti spent 80 million euros on five players, all first choice, but this year with a new coach he's spent nothing.
"I don't know why, maybe there was something projected and then it didn't happen or to balance the books or for some other reason.
"After the summer I was 100 percent disappointed with the transfer market."
Benitez also hit out at the players and suggested he did not control their training routines.
"I want to know what the players are doing. These lads have done no gym work for two years and to compensate for this athletic work they go (to the gym without my knowing), and they hide problems and injuries."
Benitez has been under fire this season after a series of poor results, exacerbated by the fact this same squad of players won the treble last season under Jose Mourinho.
They dropped to seventh in Serie A last weekend while they were away on Club World Cup duty and they also failed to win their Champions League group, although the second round draw was not unkind to them, pairing them with Bayern Munich.
|Alisson can be world´s best – Taffarel|
|Ter Stegen dismisses ´Messi with gloves´ label|
|Buffon: Messi more complete than Ronaldo|
|Neymar is irreplaceable, says Tite|
|Conti: Milan much better thanks to Gattuso|
|Show must go on in Hollywood! - Pogba and Mkhitaryan say Ibrahimovic goodbyes|
|Arthur: I´ll find out if Messi is from this planet|
|Barcelona better than Real Madrid even if Neymar signs - Iniesta|
|I haven´t booked a holiday yet - Leno hoping for World Cup call|
|I may be 40 but I´m still Juve´s number one – Buffon bullish over Italy return|
|Italy coach Di Biagio dismisses Raiola rage over Balotelli snub|
|Lopetegui not ruling out Martinez World Cup chances|
|Spain defender Ramos targeting Casillas caps record|
|Pogba gets no special treatment from Deschamps|
|Ibrahimovic to LA Galaxy? Beckham, Drogba, Pirlo and the other stars to try MLS|
|Wilshere out for England with Pickford to face Netherlands|
|Southgate rejects England safety concerns over World Cup|
|Great things come to an end - Ibrahimovic confirms Man Utd departure|
|This is Messi´s team - Sampaoli puts faith in Barcelona superstar|
|Juventus to play in MLS All-Star Game|
|Low confirms Can will miss Spain game|
|Ibrahimovic released by Manchester United|
|Santos not interested in Ronaldo to China links|
|WATCH: Messi scores superb solo strike in Argentina training|
|Koeman names Van Dijk new Netherlands captain|
|Dybala and Icardi´s World Cup hopes doused by Sampaoli|
|I almost s*** myself - Pique on Keane rant|
|UEFA order PSG to close Auteuil stand|
|Brilliant Bale basks in Wales record|
|Neuer needs to play to make Germany´s World Cup squad – Low|
|China 0 Wales 6: Record-breaking Bale leads demolition job in perfect start for Giggs|
|Bale becomes Wales´ record goalscorer with China hat-trick|
|The ´reality for people with a brain´ is Manchester United are in transition, Mourinho claims|
|West Ham ban disruptive fans for life after Burnley chaos|
|Iniesta hints at post-World Cup international retirement|
|All we do is talk s*** - Pique goads Madrid stars over WhatsApp|
|Euro 2016 humiliation helped England, claims Dele Alli|
|Iniesta confident of two more years in Barcelona starting XI|
|Kane probably the best striker in the world - Maguire|
|Wenger told Wilshere he could leave Arsenal|
|If you play for Atletico, you must be committed – Koke responds to Griezmann speculation|
|Giggs: Bale will feature for Wales in China Cup|
|Maradona: Messi doesn´t have to prove himself by winning World Cup|
|Cristiano Ronaldo hasn´t asked to leave Real Madrid amid China links – Perez|
|Manchester United apply for professional women´s team|
|Bolt a fan of Ronaldo, but compares his talent to Messi´s|
|Heynckes definitely leaving at end of season, claims Ze Roberto|
|Shaw issue a distraction from Manchester United´s failures, says Neville|
|Hamsik withdraws from Slovakia squad|
|Griezmann backs Pogba to prove doubters wrong for France|
|Sanchez ´expected something better´ from Manchester United move|
|Javi Martinez in the dark over Spain squad omission|
|Giggs feeling the tension ahead of Wales debut|
|Juventus confirm Alex Sandro thigh injury|
|Hart praises ´loyal guy´ Southgate amid World Cup axe fears|
|I miss Morata, says recalled Costa|
|I can improve even more at Manchester City - Bernardo Silva|
|Neymar will be fit for the World Cup, insists Ronaldo|
|Costa thinks Griezmann will stay at Atletico Madrid|
|Ferdinand worried by England´s World Cup striker options|
|Stam leaves Reading after wretched run|
|Neymar is great, we´ll see if he joins Real Madrid – Asensio|
|Maguire tips ´nightmare´ Vardy to replace injured Kane|
|Malcom ready to leave Bordeaux and chase Bayern ´dream´|
|Asensio insists Zidane was not unfair to him|
|Griezmann wants future resolved before World Cup|
|Nocerino wants Conte return after Italy´s World Cup ´disaster´|
|Iconic 2002 World Cup haircut was media distraction, reveals Ronaldo|
|Wright: Difficult for Liverpool sensation Salah to resist Real Madrid|
|Yaya Toure yet to report for international duty, confirm Ivory Coast|
|Morrison confirms plans to play for Jamaica|