Watford have sacked Marco Silva and believe Everton’s unwelcome approach is ultimately responsible for the manager’s demise.
The Hornets have lost patience with the 40-year-old after a dismal run of eight losses in their last 11 matches.
Leicester City inflicted the last of those defeats yesterday at the King Power Stadium as Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez struck.
Watford’s board think the slump can be traced back to unwanted attention from the Toffees earlier this season.
Silva was identified as the Goodison Park club’s prime target to replace Ronald Koeman, but a deal proved impossible to reach.
The Portuguese remained in charge at Vicarage Road but will now be cursing his failure to land a job on Merseyside.
Former Malaga and Rubin Kazan coach Javi Garcia is expected to be named as his replacement this week.
“Watford Football Club has parted company with Marco Silva,” read a statement released by the Hornets.
“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.
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“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.”
Watford sit 10th in the Premier League table after showing Silva the door in Hertfordshire.