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Former-Middlesbrough manager linked with Riverside return

Former-Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka has been linked to the up and coming vacant Boro job, with Tony Pulis expected to depart.

According to Sky Sports, Karanka has been linked to the Middlesbrough manager’s role, but the Spaniard refused to comment due to Pulis still being in charge for the time being.

“Now it is impossible because Tony is in charge,” he said.

“He is a manager I respect a lot because the few times I have been with him he has helped me a lot.

“It’s a shame he couldn’t do it (get Boro promoted) this season.”

Karanka admitted he still has a good rapport with Middlesbrough Chairman Steve Gibson, and Sky Sports suggest he would not rule out a return to the club he achieved promotion with back in the 2015/2016 campaign.

“The relationship I have with (Middlesbrough owner) Steve (Gibson) is amazing.”

“In the future – especially in football – you never know.”

The 45-year old’s managerial role at Boro was his first in football, and in three seasons, he took the Teessiders to a Play Off Final at Wembley, ultimately losing 2-0 to Norwich City, and then to a second place finish – achieving promotion to the Premier League.

However, they were relegated back down to the Championship the following season, with Karanka leaving by mutual consent when the club were in the relegation zone.

Recent reports on The72 show the hierarchy at the club could be looking at coaches in the Netherlands too. Gibson is keen to appoint a coach who adopts a ‘crowd friendly, attacking approach’, and believes managers in the Eredivisie could be the way forward.

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