Atletico Madrid fired coach Abel Resino on Friday after winning only one of its past 10 games.
Atletico is last in its Champions League group following a 4-0 loss at Chelsea on Wednesday and 15th in the Spanish league.
“I gave it everything I have, but football is capricious and we are not getting the results we want,” Resino said at a news conference. “However, I am leaving with a clear conscience because I tried.”
Assistant coach Santi Denia will take charge of the team in Saturday’s league game against Mallorca, said sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch.
Sports daily Marca reported that Michael Laudrup is already in negotiations with Atletico to replace Resino, who had only been appointed in February to come in for Javier Aguirre.
Other candidates include Luis Aragones, who led Spain to the 2008 European Championship title, former Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores, ex-Madrid boss Bernd Schuster and former Turkey coach Fatih Terim.