Chelsea have sacked manager Jose Mourinho seven months after he led them to the Premier League title.
The 52-year-old Portuguese had been in his second spell at the club, taking charge in June 2013.
Chelsea finished eight points clear last season and also won the
League Cup, but have endured a terrible start to their defence, losing
nine of their 16 league games so far.
Mourinho’s final match was Monday’s 2-1 defeat at leaders Leicester City.
Pep Guardiola, Guus Hiddink, Brendan Rodgers and Juande Ramos have all been touted as possible successors
He leaves with Chelsea just a point off the relegation zone and 20 points behind Leicester.
Champions League qualification via one of the top four spots in the Premier League looks almost impossible.
However, the Blues are through to the last 16 of European football’s
biggest club competition, where they will face French champions Paris
St-Germain in February and March.
Mourinho only signed a new four-year contract on 7 August and is Chelsea’s most successful manager.
He won three Premier League titles, two of those in his first spell between 2004 and 2007.
The Portuguese has also won the FA Cup, in 2007, and the League Cup three times – in 2005, 2007 and 2015.
It has not only gone wrong in the Premier League for Mourinho, he has also had his issues off the pitch.
A 2-2 draw with Swansea on 8 August was overshadowed by a fallout with his medical team, in particular club doctor Eva Carneiro.
Carneiro had her role downgraded after Mourinho said his medical
staff were “naive” for running onto the pitch to treat attacking
midfielder Eden Hazard.
She eventually left on 22 September and is now taking legal action against Mourinho and the Blues.
Mourinho also received a suspended stadium ban and £50,000 fine for
claiming referees were “afraid” to award his team penalties in a 3-1
home loss to Southampton in October.
He subsequently had to serve a one-match stadium ban and pay a
£40,000 fine for his behaviour during a 2-1 defeat by West Ham, when he
spoke to referee Jon Moss at half-time.