Aitor Karanka: Middlesbrough to appoint ex-Real Madrid assistant

By Steve CrossmanBBC World Service Sport
Aitor Karanka, Real Madrid assistant coach

Middlesbrough are set to name ex-Real Madrid assistant Aitor Karanka as their new manager, BBC Sport has learned.

The club have called a news conference for 10:30 GMT on Wednesday when they are expected to confirm Karanka as the successor to Tony Mowbray.

The 40-year-old was Jose Mourinho's assistant during his three years as Real Madrid boss.

and his deputy Mark Venus has been in temporary charge since then.

Former Real Madrid and Spain defender Karanka left the former European champions following Carlo Ancelotti's appointment as manager during the summer. This will be his first managerial job.

The club are currently 16th in the Championship table, eight points adrift of the play-off positions and five points above the bottom three.

Just seven years ago Middlesbrough reached the Uefa Cup final, losing to Sevilla in what was Steve McClaren's final game before becoming England manager.

Gareth Southgate took over at the Riverside and three years later Boro were relegated to the Championship.

He left the club in October 2009 and both Gordon Strachan and Tony Mowbray have since come and gone having failed to secure a play-off place.