Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea by mutual consent, the club have confirmed. The 52-year-old coach leaves Stamford Bridge for the second time with the club just a point above the relegation zone, having lost nine of their 16 league games.
A statement read: "Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent.
"All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013.
"His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history. 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.
"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. 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. There will be no further comment until a new appointment is made."
Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Juande Ramos has been lined up to take temporary control of the club, according to The Times. But Guus Hiddink, who took the reins at the club in 2009 as interim manager following the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari, has also been linked with the role.
Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2013, winning the league last season by eight points. But Chelsea's attempt to defend their crown has been the worst in the Premier League era with the club already out of the title picture before the half way stage of the season.
The Blues have won just four of their 16 games in the league, suffering defeats to Crystal Palace, Southampton, West Ham United and Liverpool among others.
Perhaps the biggest factor in Roman Abramovich's decision to dismiss the former Porto and Real Madrid manager has been the fraught relationship with his players. Speaking after the club's latest defeat to Leicester City on Monday 14 December, the manager accused his team of betraying his orders.
"One of my best qualities is to read the game for my players and I feel like my work was betrayed," said Mourinho. "One possibility is that I did an amazing job last season and brought the players to a level that is not their level and now they can't maintain it."