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JUST IN: Chelsea Sacks Mourinho As Club Manager

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Chelsea football club has fired Jose Mourinho as club manager, after a disastrous start to the title defence.

It was learnt that Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, held a meeting yesterday with the club’s directors to decide the fate of manager Jose Mourinho.

The 52-year-old Portuguese has been under huge pressure with the club having lost nine league games this season, the worst defence of a Premier League title holder ever, leaving the Blues languishing in 16th place, with just 15 points from their first 15 matches.

Despite being the highest-paid manager in the Premier League with an annual salary estimated between £8m and £13m, he leaves Chelsea just a point off the relegation zone and 20 points behind leaders Leicester.

A statement issued by the club on Thursday reads in full: “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.”

He won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and three League Cup’s between 2004 and 2015.

Chelsea is now expected to appoint a caretaker manager until the end of the season, with Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti and Brendan Rogers, the likely candidates for the job.