Sami Hyypia has been sacked as manager of Bayer Leverkusen after a poor run saw the side in danger of missing out on Champions League qualification.
The former Liverpool man, who had previously stated his desire to one day manage the Anfield side, had been at Leverkusen since joining as a player in 2009.
He became manager at the beginning of the season, having previously shared the role with Sacha Lewandowski.
Lewandowski will take over as interim coach until the end of the season.
Although Leverkusen currently sit in fourth place, four points away from their nearest rivals, they have won only once in the past 12 games, with their most recent loss coming against relegation-threatened Hamburg. This run has allowed rivals to catch them and put their chances of securing a spot in Europe's elite competition in jeopardy.
Sporting director Rudi Voller told the club's website: "It was a very difficult decision because Sami did a great job the past two years. The dramatic developments in the past few weeks, however, gave us no real choice than to part ways. We want and must try everything to rescue this season."
The former Liverpool defender gained legendary status during his 464 appearances on Merseyside, having been a member of the 2001 treble-winning side and the victorious 2005 Champions League team.
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