Everton have confirmed manager Sam Allardyce has left the club with immediate effect.
Sky Sports News understands chairman Farhad Moshiri met Allardyce early on Wednesday morning and told him his six-month reign had come to an end. The decision comes following an Everton board meeting on Tuesday.
Allardyce will be paid the vast majority of the final 12 months of his contract, estimated to be around £6m.
Deputy CEO of Everton, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said: “On behalf of the chairman, board of directors and Mr Moshiri, I’d like to thank Sam for the job he has done at Everton over the last seven months.
“Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that.
“However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately.
“Again, we’d like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sam for his work with us over the last few months and wish him well for the future.”
The 63-year-old secured an eighth-placed finish for Everton in the Premier League after just two defeats in their final nine matches.
When asked about his future on Monday, Allardyce told Sky Sports News: “It’s my job to turn that around. My job is to get better results for Everton, get better players, and play better. Then those fans enjoy their football a little bit more than they are at the moment.
“I’ve done all that I can, the backroom staff have done all that they can, and the players have done all that they can.”
Former Watford manager Marco Silva is understood to be Everton’s preferred choice to replace him.
Everton attempted to bring Silva to Goodison Park last November when the Portuguese was at Watford.
The Toffees offered as much as £12m in compensation for Silva but their approach was rebuffed.
Despite Silva’s obvious interest in a move to Merseyside, Watford refused to let Everton speak to him. A dramatic loss of form was to lead to Silva’s dismissal in January, following a run of one win in 11 matches.
A mediation meeting last month between the two clubs – and instigated by the Premier League – failed to resolve the highly acrimonious dispute.