Gulliermo Amor will not continue as Adelaide United coach next A-League season, the club has confirmed.
The Barcelona great put an end to months of speculation on Wednesday, informing his squad and chairman Greg Griffin of his decision less than a day after the Reds were knocked out of the Asian Champions League (ACL).
The club have already started the recruitment process to appoint a new coach by mid-June, in time for 2017-18 pre-season.
Adelaide was Amor’s first job as a head coach.
The 49-year-old joined the club as a technical director before taking over as coach from fellow Spaniard Josep Gombau before 2015-16 and holding the position for two seasons of wildly contrasting fortunes.
That campaign, he led the Reds to a second Premiers Plate and maiden championship, before slumping to a ninth-placed finish in a disappointing title defence.
Several players are also headed for the exit door.
Captain Eugene Galekovic made what appeared to be an emotional farewell to Adelaide fans after Tuesday night’s 1-0 home ACL loss to Jiangsu Suning.
Galekovic headlines a list of players expected to depart, including Marcelo Carrusca, Dylan McGowan, Sergio Cirio, Iacopo La Rocca and imports Baba Diawara and Kim Jae-sung.
Some 16 players will fall off-contract ahead of a massive shake-up of United, who finished ninth in the A-League this season and failed to advance out of the Asian group stage.
Galekovic is considering offers from A-League rivals, with Adelaide already announcing the signing of his one-time goalkeeping understudy Paul Izzo from Central Coast.
Attacker Cirio is also tipped to sign with the Mariners, brilliant midfielder Carrusca is weighing up offers, while defender McGowan is expected to soon announce his departure for an as-yet unknown overseas club.