Craig Shakespeare has been sacked as the manager of Leicester City only four months after succeeding Claudio Ranieri on a permanent basis.
Sportsmail understands the 53-year-old was called to a meeting with the club hierarchy on Tuesday to be told a decision has been made to dismiss him after a run of one win in 10 Premier League games that leaves the 2015-16 champions in 18th place this season.
The Foxes could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to West Brom on Monday night and have won just three times this term, with two of those victories coming in the Carabao Cup.
Shakespeare’s assistant Michael Appleton has been placed in temporary charge.
Shakespeare was sacked by Leicester at 2.30pm after watching a training game against Nottingham Forest which featured first-team fringe players who had not been involved against West Bromwich Albion.
The move has not been well received among senior players in the dressing room.
Shakespeare is a popular manager and has been well respected since taking full-time control from Claudio Ranieri.
Established members of the title-winning team believe he has been a victim of the problems the club had in replacing recruitment chief Steve Walsh, who moved to Everton.
Midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater have been sold to Chelsea and not adequately replaced.
Adrien Silva was bought from Sporting Lisbon for £22m on deadline day but the club have been unable to register the midfielder as the deal was completed 14 seconds after the cut-off point.
Harry Maguire has been a hit after joining for £17m from Hull but reservations remain over signings from last summer, including Islam Slimani and Ahmed Musa.
Marco Silva and David Wagner are young and hungry coaches, both admired by Leicester, although in work.
Shakespeare only replaced Ranieri in June, signing a three-year contract after guiding the club to Premier League safety during his spell as caretaker.
He also helped steer the Foxes into the quarter-finals of the Champions League having filled in after the popular Italian was sacked in February.
Speaking after his appointment as permanent boss, Shakespeare said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for me to continue along this new path in my career and to continue to work with a club and a group of staff I’ve grown extremely close to.
“I’m grateful to the owners and the Board of Directors for their continued faith and support.
“Our preparations for pre-season and the new Premier League campaign have been on-going for some time, but we can now move on with certainty and ensure we are well equipped to compete at the levels now expected of a club like Leicester City.”
Shakespeare was given money to spend during the summer transfer window, bringing in the likes of Harry Maguire for £17m and Kelechi Iheanacho for £25m.
However, Leicester’s form has been disappointing, with their only top-flight win coming against new boys Brighton in August.
Shakespeare’s job was not believed to be under immediate threat, but Leicester’s Thai owners chose to act after watching Riyad Mahrez secure a point late on against the Baggies.
Speaking prior to Monday night’s game at the King Power, Shakespeare admitted that any Premier League boss could be as little as four games away from the sack.
“It’s the reality, we all understand that you can draw four games on the trot and the spin becomes that you haven’t won for four games,” he said.
“With the amount of coverage on TV and radio, social media and online comment, it’s normal now to be questioned after four games.
“The key thing is don’t try and get too agitated and upset if people don’t like the way you’re doing things – of course it’s lovely to be well liked but for every pat on the back there’s a kick up the bum coming in a week’s time.
“As long as you’re quite level with your highs and lows, you’ve got to maintain that because ultimately it’s the players and the owners who will have a bearing on how you succeed.”
© Daily Mail