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Sports

Monaco fire Jardim for early season slump

media Leonardo Jardim steered a Monaco side containing Kylian Mbappé to the 2017 French title. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Monaco's top brass succumbed to the inevitable on Thursday when they sacked the head coach Leonardo Jardim.

Last season's runners-up announced the departure of the 44-year-old Portuguese five days after the Ligue 1 pacesetters Paris Saint-Germain set a record of nine consecutive victories at the start of a top flight season

In May 2017, it was Jardim's Monaco that was hogging the headlines. Boasting the youthful brio of Kylian Mbappé and Thomas Lemar and a resurgent Radamel Falcao up front, Monaco slaughtered all and sundry in a 107 goal romp to their first championship since 2000 and their eighth overall.

A midfield featuring the wily veteran Joao Moutinho, the leggy dynamism of Tiemoué Bakayoko and the silky skills of Bernardo Silva provided the platform for the strikers.

Benjamin Mendy made his name in defence for a team that let in 31 goals in 38 matches.

Mendy now plies his trade at Manchester City along with Silva. Moutinho is also in England at Wolverhampton Wanderers while Lemar has decamped to Atletico Madrid. Bakayoko is an enforcer for AC Milan after an inconsistent first season with Chelsea. Mbappé stars for PSG and France

More than 600 million euros gushed into the club's coffers but the policy appears to have backfired with the club languishing at the wrong end of the table.

Since the opening day win at Nantes, Monaco have only been able to gather another three points from stalemates against Lille, Toulouse and Nimes to lie in 18th place with six points from nine games.

After the 2-1 loss at home to Rennes on 7 October, Jardim's four year stay at the club appeared to be disintegrating.

"I would like to salute Leonardo with the utmost respect for all the work done," Monaco viice-president Vadim Vasilyev said in a statement. "His brief time will remain as one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the club. Leonardo will always be part of the family of AS Monaco."

Former Monaco and Arsenal star Thierry Henry has been touted as a replacement. Henry was a youth player with the club before moving to Juventus. His halcyon days came at Arsenal under the aegis of the former Monaco boss Arsene Wenger.

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