Flamengo fire Pereira after four months in charge; eye Jesus, Sampaoli

Copa Libertadores defending champion Flamengo fired coach Vitor Pereira on Tuesday after his team lost all four titles it played for since he took over in January.

The club announced its decision on its social media channels two days after Flamengo lost 4-1 to archrival Fluminense in the second leg of the Rio de Janeiro state championship final. Pereira's team won the first leg 2-0.

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Sources told ESPN Brazil, the return to another Portuguese coach, Jorge Jesus, is Flamengo's top option to replace Pereira.

Jesus, multi-champion with the Rio de Janeiro club in 2019, is currently in charge at Fenerbahçe and his contract expires at the end of the season.

Jorge Sampaoli has the support of Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim and is another candidate for the job, sources said.

The Argentine coach left Sevilla three weeks ago and he has experience working in Brazil. He was previously in charge of Atletico-MG and Santos.

Pereira was in charge when Flamengo lost the Brazilian Supercup, the Club World Cup, the Recopa Sudamericana and the Rio state championship titles.

Flamengo also had a poor start in its Copa Libertadores title defense, losing 2-1 to Ecuador's Aucas on Wednesday. It was the Ecuadorian club's debut in the tournament.