Real Madrid sacked coach Wanderley Luxemburgo following an emergency meeting of the club's board on Sunday.
Luxemburgo had been at the Bernabeu for less than a year
The 53-year-old Brazilian, who was Real's fifth coach in the space of two and a half years, had been in charge of the team for just over 11 months.
Reserve team manager Juan Ramon Lopez Caro has taken over as caretaker boss.
A club statement said: "Luxemburgo will not continue as Real Madrid coach. The club has already been in contact with captain Raul to break the news."
Among those already being linked to the job are England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, Fabio Capello, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez.
The club reportedly held initial talks over Luxemburgo's future immediately after Saturday's 1-0 win over Getafe, which was the club's first victory in three league games.
It is believed Luxemburgo did not take the team's training session on Sunday.
Cadena Ser radio and Antena 3 television speculated that the 53-year-old had already been told by club vice-president Emilio Butragueno and sporting director Arrigo Sacchi that he had lost his job.
And on Sunday, Butragueno told the club's official website: "The truth is that we don't think the team's performance has lived up to expectations.
"That's fundamentally what made us decide. It wasn't easy - it was a long directors' meeting. Luxemburgo is a professional. We are sad but sometimes you have to make decisions.
"Everybody gave their opinion and we were all in agreement. We are in a delicate moment and we think it was time for a change."
Former Brazil coach Luxemburgo, who has been at the Bernabeu for less than a year, has been under huge pressure since the tame 3-0 home defeat to arch-rivals Barcelona.
Real followed that by salvaging a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad with two late goals before the home victory over Getafe - a result overshadowed by David Beckham's third red card in two months.
They have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League but are unable to overhaul Lyon as Group F winners and will go into the second-round draw among the second-ranked teams.