Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich sacked Roberto Di Matteo this morning following an "unacceptable" run of results which has seen the Blues win just two - and lose four - of their last eight games in all competitions.
With the Russian furious at the club's disastrous Champions League campaign, that sees them lying on the brink of elimination following last night's 3-0 defeat against Juventus in Turin, the Italian coach was given his marching orders and training was cancelled for the day, hours after the squad touched down in London.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea executives met at an emergency meeting at Stamford Bridge at 9am, where they told Di Matteo his reign was over, just six months after he led them to FA Cup and European glory whilst in caretaker charge.
"Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with Manager Roberto Di Matteo," read the statement on their official website. "The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.
"The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.
"The owner and the Board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup. We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club's history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge.
"The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager."
With a number of managers in the frame for the much-maligned Chelsea hot-seat, GiveMeFootball brings you five possible successors to Roberto Di Matteo.
Rafa Benitez | Odds: 2/5
Rafa Benitez is understood to be willing to take the job until the end of the season. This is despite turning down a similar offer last season after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked.
Pep Guardiola | Odds: 7/2
Roman Abramovich's No.1 target is former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, but the Blues owner needs to persuade him to end his year-long sabbatical from football.
Harry Redknapp | Odds: 8/1
Out of work since leaving Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season, Harry Redknapp would likely jump at the opportunity to take the reigns at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho | Odds: 10/1
Recent speculation has linked the Real Madrid boss with a return to England, with his daughter poised to start studying in London.
Andriy Shevchenko | Odds: 20/1
Spotted on the Chelsea plane back to London from Italy last night. The Ukrainian has recently retired from football. Could Roman Abramovich be ready to hand Shevchenko his first managerial job?
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