Watford sacked manager Marco Silva on Sunday after a poor run of results and blamed a rival Premier League club’s “unwarranted approach” to sign the Portuguese earlier this season as the catalyst for the decision.
British media reported that Everton had targeted Silva in their quest to replace Dutchman Ronald Koeman before they appointed former England manager Sam Allardyce in November.
“This has been a difficult decision and one not taken lightly,” Watford said in a statement on their website (www.watfordfc.com).
“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.”
Silva, 40, joined Watford from Hull City on a two-year deal in the close season and took them to fourth in the table after eight matches. Watford have since struggled for consistency, winning just once in the past 11 league games.
Watford, who are 10th in the table after 24 matches, were beaten 2-0 by Leicester City on Saturday, their third league defeat in four games.
The club said they would appoint Silva’s successor shortly.