Chelsea has sacked manager Jose Mourinho, the club announced Thursday.
BBC's Dan Roan was first to report the news.
“All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013,” the club said in a statement. “But both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways.”
Speculation over Mourinho’s job status arose as Chelsea failed to live up to expectations this season, losing nine of 16 league matches. Following its 2–1 defeat by Leicester on Monday, Chelsea dropped to one point above the relegation zone.
Mourinho led Chelsea to a Premier League title last year, as well as in 2004 and 2007 in his first stint as the club’s manager, but failed to replicate that success this year. The three league titles plus the FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins Chelsea earned during Mourinho’s tenure earn him the distinction of the 110-year-old club’s the most successful manager.
He returned to Chelsea in June 2013 after a six-year absence. After winning the Premier League title last season, he signed a new four-year extension in August.
“The club wishes to make clear Jose leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea,” the club said in the statement. “His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge.
“The club’s focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential.”
The BBC reports Pep Guardiola, Guus Hiddink, Brendan Rodgers and Juande Ramos are potential replacements for Mourinho. Chelsea said in the statement it would not comment further on the managerial situation until a new manager is hired.
Chelsea is in 16th place in the Premier League, just a point above relegation. The Blues, who qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League last week, will host Sunderland on Saturday.
- Erin Flynn