Roma sack head coach Rudi Garcia with Luciano Spalletti set for role

Roma have parted company with their head coach Rudi Garcia and are expected to appoint Luciano Spalletti as his replacement.

Garcia has paid the price for a poor run of form which has seen the Giallorossi win just one of their last 10 matches, and slip seven points adrift of league leaders Napoli, falling also five points behind Juventus -- the defending champions they led by 11 points earlier this season.

A 1-1 draw at home to AC Milan last weekend proved to be the final straw for club president James Pallotta, who was reported to have been furious at his club's recent demise.

In an official statement published on the Serie A club's website, Pallotta said: "On behalf of myself and everyone at AS Roma, I'd like to thank Rudi Garcia for all of his hard work since joining the club. We've all enjoyed some great moments during his time at Roma but we believe that this is the right time for a change."

The statement explained that "given recent results, the club have decided to move in a new direction."

Alberto De Rossi, current coach of the club's youth team, will lead Wednesday's training session, although the appointment of Spalletti is seen to be imminent.

Pallotta summoned the former Zenit St Petersburg coach to meet with him and the club's general manager Mauro Baldissoni in Miami and those talks concluded with the 56-year-old -- who coached Roma from 2005 to 2009 and was the last man to win a trophy with the Eternal City club, with the 2008 Coppa Italia -- reportedly agreeing to return.

"If I come back, it will be to finish off the job I started," Spalletti is quoted to have told La Gazzetta dello Sport prior to accepting the job.

In Spalletti's first spell on the Giallorossi bench, Roma finished Serie A runners-up on two occasions and reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League twice. That is something he will be looking to emulate again this season, with Roma facing Real Madrid in a last-16 tie next month.

Garcia will be credited with getting Roma into the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since Spalletti, although fans are unlikely to remember his two-and-a-half-year reign so fondly.

Results were initially positive, with a league-record 10 straight wins at the start of his first campaign in charge. However, a run of draws saw Roma finish the season second, a full 17 points behind Juventus.

Last season painted a similar picture with a strong start followed by a slump, and another runners-up berth. With the bright start to the current campaign also tailing off, Pallotta has now decided to take action before it is too late with Roma lying fifth at the midway stage of the season.

Garcia's girlfriend Francesca Brienza, a reporter for the club's own television channel Roma TV, suggested that the Frenchman had been fired on Tuesday in a post which she later removed from her Facebook account.

"People change their minds far too quickly at Roma," she wrote. "Just look at Luis Enrique, who has now been crowned as the world's best coach. Spalletti, who we are vehemently calling to return, was the same one who we wanted rid of years ago. I saw the coach [Garcia] in a different way.

"He loved this club at every moment and never wanted to ridicule anybody because he is an ethically correct person."

Spalletti has been out of work since being sacked by Zenit in March 2014, having led them to two straight Russian league titles.

Roma face Hellas Verona on Sunday before travelling to Juve a week later.