Frank Lampard has been sacked by Everton with the club second bottom of the Premier League, the PA news agency understands.
Just over a year after ending Rafael Benitez’s ill-fated 200-day stay, owner Farhad Moshiri has fired his sixth manager in just under seven years since taking over.
Lampard paid the price for a run of nine defeats in 12 league matches which has left the club embroiled in a second successive relegation battle.
Only 10 days ago Moshiri offered public backing for his manager but hugely-damaging defeats to fellow strugglers Southampton and West Ham have forced a change.
The former Derby and Chelsea boss won just nine and lost 21 of his 38 Premier League matches since taking over and departs eight days before the first anniversary of his appointment.
Everton have scored just 34 goals during that period, and this season they have 15 goals in 20 games and have managed to score more than once in a game twice this season.
It leaves the club looking for an eighth permanent manager since May 2016 with a first relegation since 1951 looming large.
Former Everton striker Kevin Campbell felt the club had no choice but to sack Lampard.
He told Sky Sports News: “The inevitable has happened. It hasn’t gone according to plan and the club have pulled the trigger.
“I backed Frank Lampard but ultimately it’s about results and I think the club had to make the move.
“Sitting second bottom the club find themselves in a difficult situation. The club’s a bit toxic at the moment so they’ve got to do something to address the slide. They should not be second bottom or anywhere near the bottom.
“I’m looking forward to hearing from the board and the owner what’s to come. Those fans want a plan, they want commitment and they haven’t had it, and now another manager bites the dust. Here we go on the merry-go-round again.
“They are going to have to make a decision on the manager quickly because there’s not a lot of the window left. The manager’s got to come in and make decisions if their allowed to. Everton’s squad is under-achieving.”
The club now have to move fast to find Lampard’s replacement with eight days remaining of the transfer window as events mirror those of 12 months ago.
Then Lampard was not appointed until deadline day – more than two weeks after Benitez’s departure – and was followed through the door with the last-minute arrivals of Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek, on loan from Manchester United.
A loan deal for Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma has been agreed and is likely to be announced in the next 24 hours but further reinforcements are required to help steer the club away from safety.
Former Burnley manager Sean Dyche, himself sacked last April after a decade with the Clarets as he failed to keep them in the Premier League, is the bookmakers’ favourite.
The odds on former Everton striker Duncan Ferguson, who left the club’s coaching staff in the summer to pursue managerial opportunities but has yet to find a job, have shortened – especially as he has already done the caretaker job for the Toffees on two previous short-lived occasions after the departures of Marco Silva in 2019 and Benitez last year.
Another ex-Toffees favourite Wayne Rooney, currently in charge at Major League Soccer side DC United, has also been touted as a successor as has former Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who was in consideration before Lampard was given the job last year but was still employed by Saints, is another option as is Nuno Espirito Santo.
Everton’s director of football Kevin Thelwell has previously worked under Nuno at Wolves but the Portuguese is currently in charge at at Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad and has a reported £8million buy-out clause.