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Inter cancel Vieri's contract

By Simon Evans
Last updated on: July 01, 2005 18:15 IST
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Italy striker Christian Vieri is a free agent and could move to England after his contract with Inter Milan was surprisingly cancelled on Friday.

Inter said on their official website: "Inter and Christian Vieri have decided to rescind the player's contract by mutual consent with the club, due to expire on June 30 2006."

The daily Gazzetta dello Sport said Tottenham Hotspur is the most likely destination for the burly forward, adding that he is keen to play in the English Premier League.

While Inter gave no reason for the decision, Italian media reported that Vieri was unhappy at his increasingly marginal role under coach Roberto Mancini.

Vieri was one of the best paid players in Italy, earning a reported 12 million euros a year including sponsorship and marketing deals.

"Negotiations between the player and the club progressed smoothly, and the documents related to the issue were registered at the Lega Calcio [Football League] offices this morning," said Inter's statement.

"FC Internazionale thanks Christian Vieri for his contribution to the history of the club over the past six years.

"Christian Vieri thanks Inter and its fans for the professional respect and affection which characterised the relationship," the statement said.

Vieri joined Inter from Lazio in 1999 for a then world record fee of $50 million having played for Spanish club Atletico Madrid and Juventus.

Inter were the striker's ninth club in a much-travelled career which began with Torino.

Last season he found himself frequently out of the side with coach Roberto Mancini preferring Brazilian Adriano and Nigerian Obafemi Martins in attack.

Vieri, who will be 32 this month, is keen to play regular first-team football before next year's World Cup finals in Germany.

He has scored 22 goals in 45 internationals but flopped at Euro 2004 and since Marcello Lippi took charge of the Azzurri he is no longer an automatic choice in attack.


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