RAFA BENITEZ will be lucky to still be wearing his funny socks in Inter Milan's dugout come Christmas.

He's taken an all-conquering Nerazzurri from Champions League winners to fifth in Serie A and as the Spaniard continues to spin out of control the axe looks set to fall.

It's reminiscent of his last 12 months on Merseyside, where a bumbling, embarrassing goatee owner waddled around the technical area throwing his hands up and down, possibly taking part in a secret shrugging contest.

No direction, lack of motivation and a loss of interest from star players has brought the same problems to the boil at the Giuseppe Meazza.

Club owner Massimo Moratti has already stated he feels “betrayed” by the team and talk across Italy is he's set to sit down with Fabio Capello this week in Abu Dhabi where Inter are competing in the Club World Cup.

The current England manager would be the perfect candidate for the role and allow him a quick escape from two more years at Wembley.

He was actually offered the job in the summer but with the World Cup on the horizon Capello turned Moratti down.

Other contenders include Luciano Spalletti – the red-hot Zenit St Petersburg coach who is fresh off winning the Russian league and riding high in the Europa League.

The main problem there is he's only a year into his contract and Inter may baulk at the pay-off being asked – especially if Capello is available for roughly the same amount.

Diego Simeone, Walter Zenga and Leonardo have all been tipped but they seem as unlikely as Pep Guardiola leaving Barcelona.

There's also the chance Inter grin and bear the next few months and attempt to lure Roberto Mancini back as it looks increasingly likely Manchester City will opt for a change of their own in the summer despite joining Arsenal at the top of the table.

Michael Laudrup is another interesting candidate and he's done well, so far, at Mallorca while maintaining an attractive style of football. He's well regarded in Italy from his playing days as a midfield marvel and could bring a new attacking edge to the side.

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