Malaga fire Ferreira after poor start to season

MADRID, Nov 2 (Reuters) - La Liga strugglers Malaga sacked Portuguese coach Jesualdo Ferreira on Tuesday after only four months in the job.

In a statement on their website the club said B team coach Rafa Gil would take charge until a replacement was found.

Ferreira was recruited in June by new owner Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, but nine matches into the season the team are lying 18th in the table with seven points.

Spanish media have linked former Real Madrid and Villarreal boss Manuel Pellegrini with the vacant post.

Former Porto coach Ferreira, 64, replaced Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz after Malaga avoided relegation on the final day of last season.

Ferreira said his objective was to establish the team in the top 10 but they have the league's leakiest defence with 21 goals conceded, have suffered five consecutive home defeats, and drew 0-0 at promoted Hercules in a King's Cup match last week.

Sunday's 2-1 home defeat by promoted Real Sociedad proved the final straw.