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Ranieri, Silva in mix to succeed Mazzarri at Watford

By Philip Duncan

Watford will begin their search for a ninth manager in just five years after announcing they will part company with Walter Mazzarri.

Mazzarri's fate was sealed in a meeting with the club's board yesterday. His final game will be at home to Manchester City on Sunday.

The 55-year-old Italian, who has also managed Inter Milan and Napoli, signed a three-year contract at Watford last summer, but will leave after just one term.

Mazzarri will take control of his final match against Pep Guardiola's City side with his team languishing in 16th in the Premier League, just six points above the relegation zone, following five successive defeats.

"After the board discussed with Walter Mazzarri the club's future goals and aspirations, it was decided he will be stepping down from his position,'' Watford chairman Scott Duxbury said in a statement.

"We thank Walter and his staff for the contribution they have made."

Former Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and Hull City's Marco Silva are the early names in the frame to replace Mazzarri.

Italian Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in February just nine months after he guided the Foxes to the Premier League title.

Silva, meanwhile, has impressed for Hull since he replaced Mike Phelan at the start of the year, but the Portuguese was unable to save the Tigers from relegation.

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