​Watford have sacked manager Marco Silva after Saturday's 2-0 ​Premier League defeat against Leicester, the ​club have confirmed.

The Portuguese coach's dismissal comes after a run of poor form left the Hornets in tenth place, five points above the relegation zone.

The news has, however, come as a surprise to many given Silva's impressive beginning to life at Watford.

A statement from the club claimed that the team's decline in form came after an "unwarranted approach" for Silva from another Premier League club.

Silva was a known target for ​Everton after the Merseyside club parted ways with Ronald Koeman.

The statement read: "This has been a difficult decision and one not taken lightly. 

"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. 

"For the security and success of the football club, the Board believes it has to make a change. The Club will seek to make a swift appointment and there will be no further comment until that appointment has been made."

Silva joined ​Watford after a spell with ​Hull City, where he came close to achieving an unlikely escape from relegation.

“My job is to work hard, together with my players, to improve,” he said after the ​Leicester defeat. “The board know my opinion about everything. It’s not the best moment but the Premier League is 38 games, not only the last 10.”

He leaves after a run of just one win in 11 matches.

​Gazzetta dello Sport have since reported that Watford will appoint Javi Graci, who most recently coached Rubin Kazan in Russia, as their new manager.

The Spaniard impressed while in charge of Malaga prior to his move to Russia, and will reportedly sign a contract until 2019.

Gazzetta claim that Graci's first game will be next weekend's FA Cup fourth round clash against ​Southampton.