Thomas Tuchel has been sacked as Chelsea manager following a poor start to the season, the club announced on Wednesday.
Tuchel was appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor in January 2021 and guided Chelsea to their second Champions League crown in May that year.
However, Chelsea are sixth in the Premier League after six matches and sources have told ESPN that Tuchel and co-owner Todd Boehly’s relationship had become strained over the summer amid disagreements over the club’s transfer policy.
Nevertheless, the announcement on Wednesday morning came as something of a surprise given the Chelsea had spent more than £250 million on nine players including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a 33-year-old striker with whom Tuchel had a previously close working relationship at Borussia Dortmund.
A club statement read: “On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the club. Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.
“As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.
“Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach.”
Tuchel was critical of his team following their defeat in Europe on Tuesday.
“I didn’t see it coming, obviously I was in the wrong movie,” Tuchel told reporters. “I thought that the last game helped us. I thought the team was prepared, I thought we know what this is all about.
“I don’t really know where this performance today comes from. A lack of determination, a lack of hunger and a lack of intensity to actually do the things that we need at the highest level. We are clearly not where we want to be.
“I’m angry about our performance. It’s not precise enough, it’s not clinical enough, it’s not aggressive enough on the ball, it’s not determined enough. It’s not good enough individually, it’s not good enough as a team.”