Defending EPL champions Chelsea have decided to part ways with manager Jose Mourinho following a disastrous start to the Premier League season, according to widespread British media reports on Thursday.
Several outlets, including the BBC and ESPN, reported that the 52-year-old Portuguese had been dismissed by the club for the second time, having been sacked at the end of his previous spell in 2007.
According to British media, former Dutch manager Guus Hiddink will be appointed as the interim manager for the defending champions.
Mourinho led Chelsea to a Premier League and League Cup double last season, after returning to the club in 2013, but they are currently one point above the relegation zone after nine defeats in 16 games.
Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent. https://t.co/YYJaxxdE36— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 17, 2015
The latest loss was to current leaders Leicester City, 2-1 at the King Power Stadium and after the match, Mourinho said, “I feel my work is betrayed.I worked four days in training for this match. I identified four movements where Leicester score a lot of their goals and in two of the four situations I identified they scored their goals. I went through it all with the players, you can ask them.”
Juande Ramos, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Sevilla manager, and Dutchman Guus Hiddink have been cited as potential short-term replacements.
Mourinho is reported to have been informed of his fate in a meeting with club officials on Thursday afternoon.
With Chelsea having swept to the title by eight points last season, their recent collapse has baffled pundits.
As well as floundering in the league, they were knocked out of the League Cup on penalties by Stoke City, although they have reached the Champions League last 16, where they will face Paris Saint-Germain.