Struggling Premier League outfit Watford have sacked manager Claudio Ranieri this evening.
The Italian was in charge of just 14 Hornets games and departs with the club inside the relegation zone.
The Ranieri sacking comes after Watford’s humiliating 3-0 loss to Norwich City on Friday.
Watford are without a win in their last nine games in all competitions, losing eight of those.
Ranieri came into the job in October, replacing Xisco Munoz, and lost his opening game 5-0 to Liverpool – he then went on to achieve one of his few victories when his side beat Everton 5-2.
The Hornets sit 19th in the Premier League table, two points from safety, after 20 games.
Watford statement on Ranieri
In a statement, Watford said: “Watford Football Club confirms the departure of Head Coach Claudio Ranieri.
“The Hornets’ Board recognises Claudio as a man of great integrity and honour, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts in leading the team with dignity.
“However the Board feels that, with nearly half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in the Head Coach position now will give a new appointment sufficient time to work with a talented squad to achieve the immediate goal of retaining Premier League status.
“No further club comment will be made until this new appointment is confirmed in due course.”
Ranieri, 70, has experienced success in the Premier League when he took Leicester City to an unlikely 5000/1 domestic title. He has also managed at Chelsea and Fulham.
The sacking comes just as the Premier League breaks for two weeks. Watford next play on Saturday 5 February against Burnley in a game that has been rescheduled due to previous Covid-19 complications.
Burnley are bottom of the League and the fixture will be seen as a must-win for the new manager.
Whoever replaces Ranieri will become the sixth manager of Watford since September 2019.
The club have previously gone for lesser-known managerial appointments, including the likes of Xisco, Vladimir Ivic and Quique Sanchez Flores.
The sacking marks the eighth managerial change this season:
- Xisco Munoz (Watford)
- Steve Bruce (Newcastle United)
- Nuno Espirito Santo (Tottenham Hotspur)
- Daniel Farke (Norwich City)
- Dean Smith (Aston Villa)
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Manchester United)
- Rafa Benitez (Everton)
- Claudio Ranieri (Watford)