Montreal Impact fire coach Mauro Biello after missing playoffs

The Montreal Impact have fired coach Mauro Biello, owner Joey Saputo said on Monday.

The Impact concluded their season a day earlier, finishing in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 11 wins, six draws and 17 defeats.

Biello took over as Montreal coach on an interim basis in August 2015, replacing Frank Klopas and leading the Impact into the conference semifinals.

Biello returned in 2016 and Montreal made the playoffs again, upsetting both D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls before falling to Toronto FC in the conference final.

But his exit was widely expected after Montreal failed to secure a playoff spot this season or win a Canadian Championship in his tenure.

"It's time to make a change in the leadership of the club," owner Saputo told reporters at an end-of-season review.

Saputo said he has been looking for a new manager since July and has already met with candidates from Switzerland, France, Germany and Argentina. He hopes to name a successor in two to three weeks.

Italian legend Alessandro Nesta, currently the manager of NASL's Miami FC, is reportedly a top contender for the job.

Biello spent nearly all of his playing career with the Impact in various leagues, including indoor, before the team joined MLS.

Assistants coaches Jason Di Tullio and Wilfred Nancy were also relieved of their duties, Saputo said.