Schalke have parted company with head coach Domenico Tedesco after a 7-0 defeat at Manchester City saw them eliminated from the UEFA Champions League.
In addition to Schalke's exit from the Champions League, they face a battle for survival in the Bundesliga heading into the final nine games of the season.
Tedesco guided the Royal Blues to second behind Bayern Munich last season, but with just two points from their past seven Bundesliga fixtures, they find themselves just four points clear of VfB Stuttgart, who occupy the relegation play-off berth.
"This was anything but an easy decision because Domenico Tedesco is held in very high esteem at Schalke," said sporting director Jochen Schneider. "He led a very positive sporting development last season that was crowned by finishing second in the league, but we can't let that distract from the negative progress of this season."
Talking of the club's precarious situation in the Bundesliga and the need for an upswing, Schneider added, "After thorough consideration, we've come to realise this is no longer possible with the current coaching set-up."
Schalke are through to the quarter-finals of the DFB Cup, after beating Fortuna Düsseldorf 4-1 last month, but after being only narrowly beaten 3-2 at home to City in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie, they succumbed to a 7-0 defeat to the English Premier League champions on Tuesday night.
They host RB Leipzig on Saturday with Huub Stevens installed as caretaker coach for the fixture. The 65-year-old is currently a member of the Schalke board but has been Royal Blues' boss on two previous occasions.
During spells in charge between 1996 and 2002, and then 2011 and 2012, he won the 1997 UEFA Cup and back-to-back DFB Cups in 2001 and 2002. The Dutchman was voted Schalke's coach of the century by club fans.
He'll be assisted by Mike Büskens, who was part of the team that lifted Schalke's first European honour in 1997. He was previously assistant coach at the club between 2008 and 2009, as well as caretaker boss himself on two occasions.
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