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Scolari sacked as Chelsea manager

Luiz Felipe Scolari has been sensationally sacked by Chelsea.

The Brazilian, who joined the Premier League club last summer, was expected to reinvigorate the club's fortunes and lead them to titles at home and in Europe, but after a poor run of form the axe has fallen.

Avram Grant, the man Scolari replaced, has emerged as one of the candidates on Chelsea's shortlist to replace the World Cup-winning manager. The other name thought to be on Chelsea's list is Russia's national team coach, Guus Hiddink though the bookmakers' favourites are a dream team of Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke.

Much of the talk among Chelsea fans already revolves around the combination of club legend Zola and former Blues player and coach Clarke, who left the Bridge to join up with his former team-mate at West Ham. Messages on banners unfurled at Stamford Bridge on Saturday demanded the end of Scolari's reign and the appointment of Zola and Clarke.

Ray Wilkins replaces Scolari on a temporary basis until a full-time replacement can be appointed.

A statement on the Chelsea website read: "Luiz Felipe Scolari has been dismissed as manager of Chelsea Football Club today (Monday) with immediate effect. The Chelsea board would like to place on record our gratitude for his time as manager.

"Felipe has brought many positives to the club since he joined and we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon. Unfortunately the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season.

"In order to maintain a challenge for the trophies we are still competing for we felt the only option was to make the change now. The search for a new manager has already started and we hope to have someone in place as soon as possible."

One name to be discounted is Roberto Mancini, according to his agent. Mancini, who is unemployed since being sacked by Inter Milan last summer, has been linked with a move to the London club in recent months.

However, his agent Giorgio De Giorgis has had no contact with Chelsea.

De Giorgis said to the Italian media: "No-one has contacted us, hence, I exclude the possibility that Mancini will go to Chelsea. We are aware of Scolari's sacking but they would have contacted us in the case they had though about him (Mancini). Instead, they have contacted others."

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