Watford have sacked Marco Silva, blaming Everton's approach for the Portuguese manager prior to their appointment of Sam Allardyce in November as the "catalyst for this decision".
Silva was installed as the Blues' hierarchy's top choice to succeed Ronald Koeman following the Dutchman's dismissal in October but their attempts to prise him away with reported offers of £10m in compensation from Vicarage Road were rebuffed.
Watford fans were critical of Silva's rhetoric at the time where he appeared reluctant to state his unreserved commit to seeing out his contract there and reports that he wanted to take the Everton job.
A statement from Hertfordshire club said: "The Club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership.
"This has been a difficult decision and one not taken lightly. The catalyst is that approach, something which the board believes has seen a significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford has been jeopardised."
Silva was hired by Watford on the back of his impressive spell at Hull City last season where he gave the doomed Yorkshire club a fighting chance of staying in the top flight with a string of home wins.
He looked to be adding to his burgeoning reputation this term but since beating Newcastle 3-0 in late November, the Hornets have won just once in 11 Premier League games.