Frank Lampard has been sacked by Chelsea after just 18 months as head coach and will be replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
In a statement, Chelsea said, “results and performances have not met the club’s expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement”.
Lampard said he was “disappointed not to have had the time this season to take the club forward and bring it to the next level”.
Tuchel, who left Paris Saint-Germain in December and previously managed Borussia Dortmund, will sign an 18-month contract to be Chelsea’s next head coach, with an option to extend for a further 12 months.
Plans are underway to appoint him before the game against Wolves on Wednesday. Tuchel is not exempt from quarantine protocols, but the FA will allow him to attend Chelsea’s training ground and matches if he tests negative to fly into the UK and then tests negative to enter the team’s bubble.
The German, who is expected to travel to the UK in the coming hours, is the only candidate for the role.
Lampard, who is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, enjoyed a good first season as Blues boss, taking them to the FA Cup final and securing qualification for the Champions League after giving first-team roles to a number of academy graduates.
But after being given more than £200m to spend on new players in the summer, Chelsea find themselves ninth in the Premier League after 19 games, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United and five points off Liverpool in fourth.
“When I took on this role I understood the challenges that lay ahead in a difficult time for the football club,” Lampard said in a statement to the League Managers Association.
“I am proud of the achievements that we made, and I am proud of the academy players that have made their step into the first team and performed so well. They are the future of the club.
“I am disappointed not to have had the time this season to take the club forward and bring it to the next level.”
Lampard thanked owner Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea staff for their support in “unprecedented and challenging times”.
In a statement, Abramovich said: “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 had looked at bringing in an interim manager but RB Leipzig’s former Head of Sport Ralf Rangnick turned down the opportunity.
Tuchel won the DFB-Pokal in 2017 with Dortmund before a brief but trophy-laden spell in Paris which saw him win two Ligue 1 titles and a French Cup, as well as reaching the final of last season’s Champions League, which they lost to Bayern Munich.