English Premier League club West Ham United have parted ways with manager Manuel Pellegrini after suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Leicester City on Saturday.

West Ham’s fortunes have taken quite a tumble since the start of the season when they were among the top-six hopefuls, a run during which they had beaten Manchester United 2-0. They have lost seven of their last nine matches now and are just a point above the relegation zone, sitting at 17th spot.

“West Ham United can confirm that Manuel Pellegrini has left the Club with immediate effect,” the club said in a statement. Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, along with the Board and everyone at West Ham United, would like to place on record their thanks to Manuel for his service over the past 18 months.”

Sulivan said, ” It is with great disappointment that we’ve had to make this decision. Manuel is a gentleman and it has been a real pleasure to work with someone of his calibre. However, it has become clear that a change is required to get the Club back on track in line with our ambitions this season. We felt it was necessary to act now in order to give the new manager as much time as possible to try and achieve that goal.”

David Moyes, former Manchester United and Everton manager, is the leading candidate to replace Pellegrini.

Moyes had been the interim manager at West Ham during the 2017-18 when he saved them from being relegated before being replaced by Pellegrini who has managed Real Madrid and Manchester City before.