Former Inter head coach Leonardo says he is the wrong candidate to return to San Siro as a replacement for Frank de Boer.
De Boer was sacked on Tuesday after just 85 days in the role, having managed only five wins from 14 games in all competitions this term.
Leonardo was surprisingly appointed to replace Rafael Benitez in 2010, with the former Brazil international failing to win over the majority of Inter supporters during his six months in charge due to his past as both player and coach for fierce rivals AC Milan.
The former Paris Saint-Germain sporting director has been linked with the position again this week, but appears to have ruled himself out of the running.
“I’m glad my name is out there, but I think it’s more because of the past than the present,” Leonardo, who won the Coppa Italia in his first spell with Inter, told Sky Sport 24.
“The decision has to be fully shared with the whole Inter board. I was among the candidates because of my past, but I think I’m not the ideal man for Inter right now.
“It’s not a simple situation. Inter are playing badly and in the end the result could be the right one.
“We cannot forget that Inter have undergone two changes of ownership in the past three years. They have to understand where they are.”
De Boer was dismissed despite Inter shareholders stating they were fully in support of the former Netherlands international prior to Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Sampdoria.
His agent, Guido Albers, has since claimed that his client was “the right man in the wrong place” and criticised the club for a lack of respect.
“I found the behaviour a little disrespectful, but football in Italy is like this,” he told Corriere dello Sport.
“Frank is a great coach and I am convinced that will have a great career because he has a terrific mentality and attitude.
“If he had been given time, he would have managed exceptional results. He had done so before he arrived in August, when he found himself in a difficult situation.
“Under his leadership, Inter played some good matches and within weeks he learned Italian. I think he was the right person in the wrong place.”
Guus Hiddink, Francesco Guidolin and former Villarreal boss Marcelino have also been linked with the role.