Leeds United are poised to ring the changes and hire survival specialist Sam Allardyce in a desperate bid to preserve their Premier League status.
Owner Andrea Radrizzani is set to sack Javi Gracia just 12 games into his tenure after the Spaniard failed to drag Leeds clear of the relegation fight.
Radrizzani dispensed with his long-standing director of football Victor Orta on Tuesday morning, after the pair were believed to have clashed over the future of Gracia.
Allardyce, set to be Leeds’s third manager this season, would have four matches left this season to keep them in the Premier League.
The 68-year-old earned the nickname Fireman Sam for a series of successful rescue jobs with teams who previously seemed doomed to relegation.
Everton, Crystal Palace and Sunderland were his most notable turnarounds, while Allardyce also enjoyed longer stints at West Ham United, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers.
The former England head coach failed to keep West Bromwich Albion up in his last role, however, and has been out of work since leaving the Hawthorns in 2021.
Gracia enjoyed an encouraging start at Leeds after replacing the sacked Jesse Marsch, winning three of his first six league games.
But just one point and 18 goals conceded in the five fixtures since have left their Premier League survival hanging by a thread.
Leeds are 17th, just goal difference above the relegation zone and one of four teams from 16th to 19th separated by a single point.
The fraught nature of this season’s relegation battle, and the severe financial consequences of the drop, have seen Premier League clubs sack a record 15 managers.
Orta joined Leeds in 2017 and worked alongside Radrizzani to get the club promoted in 2020 but had come under growing pressure this year.
“I am deeply saddened by the way that this chapter closes as Victor has been responsible for some of the best moments of my time as owner of Leeds United and I thank him and his people for all they have done in the past six years,” said Radrizzani.
“However, it is clear that it is time to change direction and therefore we have agreed that Victor will leave the club. I understand supporters are hurt and upset, but now is a time for unity. We have four cup finals left to play this season and working together, I believe we can survive.”