Roberto Martinez has been sacked as manager of Everton, according to widespread reports.
The decision is believed to have been made by the club’s new majority investor Farhad Moshiri after a run of just one win in 10 matches in all competitions.
Everton are now 12th, and could finish as low as 16th this season with certain results on the final day this weekend. Anything below 11th would be Everton’s lowest finishing spot since 2003-04 when David Moyes’ Toffees just avoided relegation.
Martinez, 42, and the club are believed to be thrashing out a severance package with three years of the Spaniard’s contract still remaining.
Duncan Ferguson in line to take charge of Everton for game against Norwich.
Fans unveiled another ‘Martinez Out’ banner in the away end during the 3-0 defeat at Sunderland on Wednesday night.
Martinez did not take kindly to being asked about his future by Sky Sports after the game, though he later said the players were “100 per cent” committed to his remaining in charge.
WATCH: Roberto Martinez did not like being asked about his future. https://t.co/3wqDlhW4yQ
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 11, 2016
But their latest shambolic display suggested differently and the club’s board have decided to act ahead of the match against the Canaries.
The timing of the impending departure will inevitably fuel speculation over a move for Frank de Boer, who announced he was leaving his role as Ajax coach on Thursday morning.
Outgoing Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini and former boss David Moyes have also already been installed among the favourites to succeed Martinez at Goodison Park.
Martinez joined Everton in 2013 after leading Wigan to an unlikely FA Cup triumph, and took them to 11th place in his first season in charge.
But the Spaniard faced growing criticism this season for failing to bring the best out of a squad including Romelu Lukaku and highly-prized pair John Stones and Ross Barkley.
— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) May 12, 2016
Defensive issues in particular saw the side slump in the new year, including a 4-0 derby defeat to Liverpool, and last month’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United effectively ended any hopes Martinez had of retaining his role beyond the summer.
Amid mounting discontent, Martinez saw his side crumble 3-1 at champions Leicester last Saturday before Wednesday night’s equally miserable performance against Sam Allardyce’s men.
Fans had been planning to protest at the club’s scheduled Player of the Year dinner in Liverpool on Thursday, but it now seems highly unlikely that Martinez will attend.
Reported Everton target Frank de Boer has declared himself ready for “something else” after leaving his role as Ajax coach in the wake of their dramatic failure to retain the Dutch Eredivisie title on Sunday.