Manchester United Sack Manager Jose Mourinho shortly after 9am local time in a face-to-face meeting with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward at United’s Carrington training base.
Woodward was keen to speak to Mourinho face to face to tell him of the board’s decision.
The Portuguese, 55, took over in May 2016 and led United to League Cup and Europa League titles but they are 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool.
The club have made a change after no progress with results or style despite spending nearly £400m on 11 players.
The club also says the new manager will understand the philosophy of the club, including its attacking traditions.
It is understood that players and staff are not happy after a disappointing and unsettling period during which young players were not developed.
Manchester United are sixth in the Premier League, but closer to the relegation zone than leaders Liverpool, who beat them 3-1 on Sunday.
The decision to sack Mourinho, which will cost more than £18m, has been taken in the long-term interests of Manchester United with a regard that the club is bigger than any one individual.
Mourinho is understood to have wanted his own structure, but the new manager will be appointed with a head of football above him reporting to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
A United statement said: “A caretaker-manager will be appointed until the end of the season while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.
“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.”
The club hope to appoint a caretaker-manager before they face Cardiff City on 22 December but it will not be assistant manager Michael Carrick or academy boss Nicky Butt.
The candidate will be drawn from outside the club, but will not be former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.