Portuguese club FC Porto have parted ways with head coach Julen Lopetegui after he faltered in his bid to win the Primeira Liga.
Lopetegui led Porto to second in the Liga last season, his first in charge, but has failed to mirror that.
Porto’s first loss came against table leaders Sporting CP, and a 1-1 draw against Rio Ave saw the club drop behind by four points.
Porto also confirmed that assistant coach Rui Barros will take charge in the interim, with a statement reading: “The management of FC Porto – Futebol, SAD has decided to replace the technical team led by Julen Lopetegui.
“In this regard, the workout on Friday will be guided by Rui Barros, who temporarily assumed the technical management of the professional football team.
“FC Porto and Julen Lopetegui are currently negotiating the terms of the contract termination.”
Porto will now begin the process of searching for a new head coach, with former Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo thought to be the front runner for the vacancy.
Porto travel to Boavista on Sunday and resume their European campaign with a mouth-watering Europa League tie against Borussia Dortmund in February.