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Atletico Madrid have sacked coach Carlos Bianchi after a poor run of results left the club four points above the relegation zone.

The former Boca Juniors coach, who was appointed in June, will be replaced on a caretaker basis by reserve team coach Pepe Murcia.

“We have arrived at an agreement with Bianchi to terminate his contract with immediate effect,” club president Enrique Cerezo told a news conference.

“As everyone knows we started the season with high hopes in him and the team. We did all we could to construct a great side to improve on last season’s disappointments.

“But clearly things have not worked out as we had hoped. Results are the most important part of the job and they have not materialised.”

Atletico visit fellow strugglers Real Betis in the league on Saturday.

Bianchi led Boca Juniors to three Libertadores Cups and two World Club Cups, but at Atletico, as at Roma where he endured a brief spell in charge, he was unable to emulate the success he achieved in his homeland.

According to reports in Spain, Osasuna coach Javier Aguirre is being targeted as a replacement.

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