Middlesbrough have sacked coach Aitor Karanka with the club currently languishing in the Premier League relegation zone.
The news of the sacking comes less than 72 hours before Boro’s Premier League clash with Manchester United at the Riverside Stadium, with Karanka paying the price for a ten-match winless run in the top-flight.
Indeed Boro have failed to win a league match during 2017, with their only victories this calendar year coming against lower-league opposition in the FA Cup.
Karanka has also been critical of both the club and the supporters over recent months, bemoaning the lack of transfer activity during the January transfer window and suggesting the fans encouraged a long-ball style during a home defeat to West Ham.
The 43-year-old will now leave Boro second-bottom of the league standings and three points adrift of safety, but despite his sacking, the former Real Madrid ace has been quick to thank the club for the opportunity they gave him.
Karanka said: “I’d like to thank Middlesbrough for a wonderful opportunity and the players, staff and all the people at the club who I have worked with. I’d also like to thank the fans for their support.
“This club will always hold a special place for me and I wish everyone connected with Middlesbrough Football Club the very best for the future.”
Boro will be hoping to begin life without Karanka by beating United on Sunday and they are priced at 6.50 to achieve that feat, while Jose Mourinho’s men are available at 1.62 and the draw is on offer at 3.60.