Watford have sacked Claudio Ranieri after a run of eight Premier League matches without a win, according to multiple reports.
Ranieri is the second Watford manager to be sacked this season, with the Italian appointed in early October after the club dismissed Xisco Munoz when they were 14th in the table. The club are yet to make an official announcement.
After just two league wins under Ranieri, a 3-0 defeat at home to Norwich on Friday saw Watford drop into the relegation zone.
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Watford were leapfrogged by both Norwich and then Newcastle, who beat Leeds on Saturday, meaning the Hornets now sit 19th heading into the winter break.
A Watford statement read: "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, was Watford’s 14th permanent appointment since the Pozzo family became owners a decade ago.
His three-month reign began poorly with a 5-0 defeat to Liverpool, although a week later he did enjoy a 5-2 victory at Everton.
A couple of 1-0 defeats to Southampton and Arsenal followed before Watford recorded an impressive 4-1 home win over Manchester United on November 20.
That will go down as Ranieri’s final victory as Watford manager. The nine games that followed included seven league defeats, one draw with Newcastle, and a 4-1 loss to Leicester in the FA Cup third round.
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