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 By Ben Gladwell

Cristian Bucchi dismissed by Sassuolo as club nears relegation zone

Cristian Bucchi took charge at Sassuolo in the summer.

Serie A strugglers Sassuolo have announced that Cristian Bucchi has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect.

In a statement published on their website, the club announced Bucchi's dismissal and added that they "express the most sincere gratitude for the professionalism and passion shown in these months at Sassuolo."

Bucchi was hired in the summer as a replacement for Eusebio Di Francesco, who moved to Roma after five seasons in charge of the Emilia-Romagna club.

Di Francesco lifted the Neroverdi from Serie B into Serie A at the end of his first season in charge and, despite being sacked in January 2014, he returned just six weeks later to save the club from relegation.

In 2016, he guided Sassuolo into the Europa League, but he left to join the Giallorossi at the end of last term.

Under Bucchi, Sassuolo have won just three out of 14 games in Serie A this season. Saturday's 2-0 defeat at home to Hellas Verona has left them just a point above the relegation zone in 16th place.

Sassuolo have yet to announce who will replace Bucchi, although former Chievo, Brescia, Sampdoria, Siena, Palermo and Udinese coach Giuseppe Iachini is expected to be appointed in time for their weekend trip to Fiorentina.

A week later, Sassuolo host fellow strugglers Crotone in a key fixture for both clubs' survival hopes, before three tough games against Sampdoria, Inter Milan and Roma -- all sides from within the top six of Serie A.

Bucchi's dismissal comes on the same day AC Milan relieved Vincenzo Montella of his duties, becoming the fifth and sixth coaches to be sacked this season after Massimo Rastelli at Cagliari, Marco Baroni at Benevento, Ivan Juric at Genoa and Luigi Delneri at Udinese.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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