Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as Juventus coach and Ciro Ferrara has taken over, the club said today.
The Turin side are a point above fourth-placed Fiorentina with two matches left and are in danger of slipping out of an automatic Champions League berth after a run of seven Serie A games without a win.
"Juventus announce that Claudio Ranieri has been sacked as manager. From today the first team has been entrusted to Ciro Ferrara," a statement said, without confirming whether Ferrara was a short-term appointment.
Ferrara is also Italy assistant manager.
Ranieri succeeded Didier Deschamps in June 2007 after Juve were promoted back to Serie A following their demotion for match-fixing.
They finished third last season and made a decent start to this term, beating Real Madrid home and away in the Champions League, but the recent bad run has prompted the board to act.