JOSE MOURINHO has been sacked as Chelsea manager - and will be replaced by Guus Hiddink.
The Special One was axed by Roman Abramovich with the club slumped one point out of the relegation zone — just seven months after being crowned Premier League champions.
Mourinho lost the support of the dressing room after accusing them of betraying him following the 2-1 defeat at Leicester, Chelsea’s NINTH loss in the league this season.
And he finally lost the support of Abramovich, who has watched his club fall apart in front of his eyes this season.
Chelsea will now bring in a short-term appointment until the end of the season, with former boss manager Guus Hiddink returning on a short term deal.
He was hauled in to see club officials this afternoon, and after lengthy talks both he and the club agreed the time was right to part company.
Mourinho had only signed a new four-year deal during the summer worth £36m, but under the terms of that contract he is only due to be paid up until the end of the season — around £4m.
A Chelsea club statement said: "Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent.
"All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013.
"His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history. But both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways.
"The club wishes to make clear Jose leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea. His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge.
"The club’s focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential.
"There will be no further comment until a new appointment is made."
His dismissal came on the day former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp claimed Mourinho had proved he was not the Special One after all.
The former Real Madrid boss won the Premier League and Capital One Cup last season.
But after giving his players an extended break over the summer and failing to make waves in the transfer market, this campaign saw an alarming slump in form for the Blues.
Player of the Year Eden Hazard has looked a shadow of his former self, while the goals have dried up for Spain international Diego Costa.
And Mourinho is still facing legal action from former club doctor Eva Carneiro after the pair clashed during the opening-day draw against Swansea.
Chelsea’s fans stood by Mourinho throughout but with the Blues languishing 16th place heading into the festive period, Abramovich was forced into action.
Now watch highlights of Chelsea's defeat at Leicester City
Mourinho won the Premier League three times during his two spells in charge at Stamford Bridge.
He also completed a hat-trick of League Cup wins and led the club to one FA Cup success, but the Champions League always eluded him.
Abramovich may opt to bring in a temporary replacement in Hiddink, with one eye on luring Pep Guardiola to the Bridge when his Bayern Munich deal runs out this summer.
Now watch Mourinho's reaction after Chelsea's defeat at Leicester City