Chelsea have sacked Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari after just seven months in charge of the Premier League club.
A poor run of form has left Chelsea all but out of the title race, seven points behind leaders Manchester United.
A statement on the club’s website (www.chelseafc.com) said: “Luiz Felipe Scolari has been dismissed as manager of Chelsea Football Club today (Monday) with immediate effect.
“The Chelsea board would like to place on record our gratitude for his time as manager.
“Felipe has brought many positives to the club since he joined and we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon.
“Unfortunately the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season.
“In order to maintain a challenge for the trophies we are still competing for we felt the only option was to make the change now.
“The search for a new manager has already started and we hope to have someone in place as soon as possible.”
The statement said assistant coach Ray Wilkins would take charge on a temporary basis.
Scolari, who managed who guided Brazil to World Cup success in 2002, replaced Avram Grant as manager last summer.