Sven-Goran Eriksson has finally been put out of his misery by Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra.
City today confirmed in a statement Eriksson had left the club after weeks of speculation.
"I have enjoyed my time at Manchester City very much indeed and in particular, I would like to thank the fans, players and staff for their amazing support over the season," Eriksson says on the club website, www.mcfc.co.uk .
"I wish the club - and everyone associated with it - much success in the coming years."
Eriksson's departure had been inevitable for a couple of months. The Swede demanded talks over his future following the season-ending 8-1 hammering at Middlesbrough.
Yet Dr Thaksin responded only by saying he was undergoing a thorough review of the season, leaving Eriksson to take charge of a two-match tour of the Far East.
The review does not appear to have convinced Dr Thaksin he had the right man to take City forward, even though Eriksson guided the Blues to a derby double over Manchester United and had his side challenging for a Champions League spot for over half of the campaign.
And even by landing a spot in next season's UEFA Cup via the Fair Play League and vociferous support from the City fans, Thaksin has acted.
"The board of directors and all at Manchester City would like to thank Sven for his efforts and contributions throughout the season," said City chief executive Alistair Mackintosh.
"We wish him all the best for the future. Sven remains a friend of the club."
Eriksson, who had three years left on his contract, is now likely to take up an offer to manage the Mexican national side as they look to make the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
City, while claiming no further statement will be made until they have completed their search for a new manager, will step up their search for Eriksson's successor.
Current Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has been heavily linked with the job, as has ousted Chelsea chief Avram Grant.
However, Blackburn boss and former Manchester United favourite Mark Hughes is emerging as a live contender, with some reports claiming the Ewood Park hierarchy have already given their consent for talks.
Hughes would certainly bring a sense of stability to Eastlands after a turbulent period and after guiding Blackburn into Europe twice has proved his class in the management stakes as well.
Hughes has set his heart on the "top jobs" in management amid reports he is to be head-hunted by City.
Speaking to the Daily Mail in an interview conducted before the link to City emerged, Hughes suggested his long-term career aspirations might not be satisfied at Ewood Park.
"It's my ambition to go as far as my ability will allow me to, just as I did as a player," the ex-Wales boss said.
"I wasn't the best, I had limitations, but my attitude took me to Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Chelsea - some of the top clubs in Europe.
"That approach still holds true as a manager. If my ability allows me to go on and progress and get top jobs then all is well and good.
"I'm not someone who accepts mediocrity."Reuse content