READING FC have parted company with Jaap Stam after less than two years at the helm of the club, it has been confirmed.

The Manchester United legend steered Royals within a penalty kick away from the Premier League last year but has struggled in the current campaign.

Royals sit just three points above the Championship drop-zone and have endured a barren run of just one win in 18 games under the 45-year-old.

Supporters have previously called for Stam to be axed from the club but he was backed by Royals' hierarchy to turn the club's fortunes around.

However, following Reading's 3-2 defeat to Norwich City last Saturday, in which Stam did not part in media interviews, Royals terminated his contract.

A statement reads: "Majority shareholders, Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai, had wanted to give Jaap every opportunity to turn around what has been a difficult and challenging Championship campaign.

"Jaap has not wavered in the time, effort and sheer determination he has put in to try to steer the team away from the position we find ourselves in. However, after careful consideration, the decision has been made that a change is now necessary.

"We would like to thank Jaap for his hard work and commitment to the club, in particular noting what he achieved in a memorable first season in club management, and we wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavours."

During his time in Berkshire, Stam won 39 games, drew 24 and lost 35.

Dutch midfielder Joey van den Berg recently stated that sacking the manager would be the wrong decision, despite the run of results.

Stam told the media last week that he was fed up with losing matches but insisted he would not quit his post.

Royals will now begin a search for a new manager to steer the club towards safety with eight league games remaining.

The statement continues: "We will now focus on identifying and recruiting the right person to take Reading Football Club forward.

"The club will make no additional comment at this time but will provide further updates as soon as possible."

It is not yet known whether assistant boss Andries Ulderink will remain at the club following Stam's departure.

Meanwhile, supporters have already tipped former Reading FC captain and current Rangers boss Graeme Murty to succeed the Dutchman at Madejski Stadium.

Bookmaker Sky Bet has priced Murty at 12/1 to become the next boss while Paul Clement is the overwhelming favourite at 1/10.

Mark Warburton is priced at 8/1 while Ulderink has been priced at 10/1.

Marco Silva has also been listed as a potential candidate and has been priced at 10/1.