18.01.2018 16:45 h

Struggling Bordeaux sack coach Gourvennec

Crisis-hit French Ligue 1 strugglers Bordeaux have fired their coach Jocelyn Gourvennec and cancelled the contract of captain Jeremy Toulalan, the club said on Thursday.

The move follows a 2-0 home defeat against Caen on Tuesday and the club have won just twice in 14 games since they were thrashed 6-2 by Paris Saint-Germain in September.

They have lost nine of those games and are just two points above the bottom three, making 45-year-old Gourvennec's position untenable.

The club have also been eliminated from both domestic cup competitions, having gone out of the Europa League in the third qualifying round in August.

However, the move did not go down well with Bordeaux captain Toulalan, who has left the club out of solidarity with the former coach.

Bordeaux said they had accepted a request from the former French international midfielder to be released from his contract which was due to expire at the end of this season.

Toulalan, 34, had joined the club from Monaco in 2016 at the same time as Gourvennec arrived from a successful six-year stint at Brittany side Guingamp.

Brazilian winger Malcom has been one of the few bright spots of Bordeaux's season but the 20-year-old is currently the target of transfer speculation, with Arsenal thought to be in prime position to clinch a deal worth around 50 million euros ($61.3 million).

The six-time French champions have been playing to ever-decreasing crowds in their cavernous Matmut Atlantique stadium, completed just before Euro 2016.

One of Gourvennec's assistants, Eric Bedouet, has been put in temporary charge.

Reports in Belgium say former Belgian international goalkeeper Michel Preud'homme is the favourite to take the job.