The London club announced the dismissal of manager Graham Potter on Sunday after a succession of disappointing performances left the expensively created squad 11th in the Premier League.
Chelsea’s new ownership hired Potter in September after luring him away from Brighton & Hove Albion, but the Englishman only lasted 31 games and won 12 of them before being released.
Although Potter oversaw victories in the Champions League, where they won their group after defeating AC Milan twice and eliminating Borussia Dortmund, their league success plummeted as they dropped from the top four to the bottom half of the standings.
His final game in command was Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge. It resulted in boos and jeers from the Stamford Bridge crowd as it left Chelsea 12 points below the top four and at risk of losing out on European competition next season.
“Graham has agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition,” Chelsea said in a statement.
“In his time with the club, Graham has taken us to the quarter-final of the Champions League, where we will face Real Madrid. Chelsea would like to thank Graham for all his efforts and contribution and wish him well for the future.
“Bruno Saltor will take charge of the team as interim head coach.”
Saltor’s first game in charge is on Tuesday at home to eighth-placed Liverpool, who sit four points above them.
“Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season,” co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said.
“We have 10 Premier League games remaining and a Champions League quarter-final ahead. We will put every effort and commitment into every one of those games so that we can end the season on a high.”