Cagliari have sprung a big surprise on Tuesday night by sacking Massimiliano Allegri who is regarded as one of Italian football's most promising coaches.
The Sardinian outfit enjoyed a positive start to the Serie A campaign but had gone through a dismal run in which they claimed just two points from their last nine league games.
They lost 1-0 at Juventus at the weekend to drop to 12th in the standings, but the dismissal was still unexpected with the club nine points above the relegation zone with five games left.
A statement from the club read: "Cagliari announce that they have sacked Massimiliano Allegri.
"Primavera team coach Giorgio Melis will guide the team, assisted by Gianluca Festa.
"We want to thank Allegri for the work done and wish him the best of luck in his career."
Allegri, who has long been linked with a move to troubled Juventus next season amongst other top jobs, arrived at the Stadio Sant'Elia in May 2008 and led his side in the 2008-09 campaign to a comfortable ninth-place finish.
As a result, he received the Panchina d'Oro (Golden Bench) in February, a Serie A Coach of the Year prize voted for by his peers.
Cagliari host Palermo in the Derby delle Isole on Sunday.