LONDON: David Moyes is expected to return as West Ham’s new manager after Manuel Pellegrini was sacked 90 minutes following a 2-1 home defeat by Leicester.

Hammers have lost nine of their last 12 league matches and slipped to one point and one place above the relegation zone. Moyes rescued the club from the threat of relegation on a short-term deal in 2017-18.

Pellegrini had been in charge for 18 months at West Ham until their fourth straight home defeat.

A West Ham statement read: “Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, along with the board and everyone at West Ham United, would like to place on record their thanks to Manuel for his service over the past 18 months.”

Sullivan said: “It is with great disappointment that we’ve had to make this decision. Manuel is a gentleman and it has been a real pleasure to work with someone of his calibre.

“However, it has become clear that a change is required to get the club back on track in line with our ambitions this season. We felt it was necessary to act now in order to give the new manager as much time as possible to try and achieve that goal.”

Demarai Gray missed a first-half penalty but scored a second-half winner as Leicester ended Pellegrini’s teerm.

Gray, one of nine new faces in a much-changed Foxes line-up, fluffed the opportunity to open his Premier League goal account for the season from the spot after only 12 minutes.

But the winger made amends after the interval to fire second-placed Leicester to a first league win in four games while inflicting a fourth straight home defeat on woeful West Ham, who have won just twice in 14 matches.