Watford have sacked Slaven Bilic after just six months in charge and in talks with Chris Wilder to replace him.
Bilic has lost his job at Vicarage Road following a difficult run of one win in eight matches.
Players and staff have been informed of his departure with work already underway to appoint his replacement.
Bilic becomes the second managerial casualty at Watford this season after Rob Edwards lost his job last year.
And the club are trying to secure a deal for former Sheffield United and Middlesbrough boss Wilder to replace him.
Trigger-happy Watford are set to sack head coach Slaven Bilic after just six months in charge
Ex-Sheffield United and Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has been lined up as a replacement
Wilder had been out of work since October since his sacking at the Riverside but is now set for a return to the dugout with the Hornets.
Bilic became Watford’s 17th manager in 10 years after taking over from Edwards in September but struggled to mount a promotion challenge with the Hornets, who slipped to ninth in the Championship last weekend.
Watford have only won three matches since Boxing Day under Bilic and have seriously dented their hopes of returning to the Premier League as a result.
Now three places and four points off a play-off spot, Watford have decided to part company with the 54-year-old coach and will remarkably begin searching for a sixth head coach in 18 months.
Saturday’s disappointing 0-0 stalemate with Preston marked Bilic’s final match in charge at Vicarage Road.
Overall, the Croat won just 10 games out of 26 during his six-month spell at the club.
‘We are all ambitious to succeed this season, so something new is needed quickly while the opportunity of promotion is still real,’ Watford technical director Ben Manga told the club website on Tuesday.
‘With the January transfer window over, to change coach is the only option available to re-energise for the final games ahead.’
The Croatian manager had won just 10 games out of 26 since arriving at the club in September
Watford owner Gino Pozzo is now on the hunt for an 18th permanent manager since July 2012
Gino Pozzo, Watford’s Italian owner, has established a track record of being ruthless in his hiring and firing of managers, and the club is now on the hunt for an 18th permanent manager since July 2012.
It is believed Wilder has already agreed a short-term deal to take over until the end of the season, according Sky Sports.
Bilic took first-team training at London Colney on Tuesday after his players were granted a day off following the draw against Preston.
The former West Ham and West Brom boss signed an 18-month deal in September after flying into London for talks with chairman Scott Duxbury in the wake of Edwards’ exit at Vicarage Road.