Frank Lampard has been sacked as Chelsea head coach after 18 months in charge.
After speculation emerged in the media this morning that Lampard was set to lose his job, the Blues released a statement confirming his departure.
A club statement read: “This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly.
“We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as head coach of the club.
“However, recent results and performances have not met the club’s expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.
“There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration it was decided a change is needed now to give the club time to improve performances and results this season.”
Thomas Tuchel is set to replace the 42-year-old according to multiple reports in England and Germany.
A hat-trick from Tammy Abraham helped the Blues progress into the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Luton.
But that was not enough to save Lampard’s job, with owner Roman Abramovich saying Lampard’s status as a club legend remains “undiminished”.
Abramovich added: “This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.
“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.
“On behalf of everyone at the club, the board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as head coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”
Chelsea’s record goalscorer signed a three-year deal in the summer of 2019 and in spite of a transfer ban, led them to the FA Cup final and a fourth-place finish in his first managerial campaign at Stamford Bridge.
With cash to spend ahead of this season, the arrivals of Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have failed to translate into improved results and they are ninth in the Premier League at the halfway point.
The Blues have lost six times already in the division, with five of them during their last eight matches, and are 11 points off current leaders Manchester United.
Tuchel only became available a month ago when he left Paris St Germain, less than five months after taking them to the Champions League final, which they lost to Bayern Munich.
The 47-year-old won back-to-back league titles with PSG, but that was not enough to satisfy the club’s ambitious owners who replaced him with Mauricio Pochettino.
Prior to PSG, Tuchel impressed at Borussia Dortmund, having started his managerial career with Augsburg and then Mainz.