Watford have sacked manager Marco Silva, just eight months after taking charge at Vicarage Road.
The dismissal comes after the Hornets were beaten 2-0 by Leicester on Saturday, a defeat which leaves them just five points clear of the relegation zone.
A statement from Watford blamed Everton’s approach for the former Hull City boss in November as being the ‘catalyst for this decision’, with the Hornets winning just three of their 13 league games after the Toffees were linked with a move for Silva.
Indeed, at the time, Everton offered £15m for Silva, only for Watford to keep hold of their young boss.
Here’s the club statement in full…
Watford Football Club has parted company with Marco Silva.
This has been a difficult decision and one not taken lightly. The Club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership.
The catalyst for this decision is that unwarranted approach, something which the Board believes has seen a significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford FC has been jeopardised.
For the security and success of the football club, the Board believes it has to make a change.
The Club will seek to make a swift appointment and there will be no further comment until that appointment has been made.
Despite the dip in form, Watford are still a healthy 10th in the table, but the Everton approach has obviously soured things between Silva and the club.
As for who will replace Silva, the likes of Mark Hughes, Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini are all being touted. Although, ex-Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin, who managed sister-club Udinese, must surely be in with a shout?
Anyway, the whole incident has also convinced us of one thing – never doubt Richard Keys…
I’ll bet Watford wish they’d taken Everton’s £15m now. As I said at the time – Everton dodged a bullet.
— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) January 21, 2018