Middlesbrough announced today that they have parted ways with manager Aitor Karanka after three and a half years at the club. Karanka helped Middlesbrough to achieve promotion to the Premier League last season after leading them to a second-placed finish in the English Championship. However, after a run of 10 Premier League games without a win, Middlesbrough now find themselves second from bottom and deep in the midst of a relegation zone.

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Karanka speaks on Middlesbrough departure

Middlesbrough have been promising defensively since returning to the top flight of English soccer but have scored the lowest number of goals of any side in the Premier League this season with just 19 for the campaign. Speaking after his departure was announced, Karanka said that Middlesbrough would "always hold a special place" for him before thanking the players and staff for what they had managed to achieve during his time there.

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Middlesbrough said after meeting with Karanka to discuss their position it was in the clubs "best interest" to part ways with the Spaniard.

Karanka replaced Tony Mowbray at the helm of Middlesbrough in November 2013 after a spell as assistant manager to Jose Mourinho's at Real Madrid. The 43-year old played as a defender for both Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid during the late 90's/early 00's, winning three Champions League medals during his time as a player.

Karanka's replacement at Middlesbrough

With the end of the Premier League season looming, Middlesbrough will be eager to find Karanka's replacement sooner rather than later. Former Derby and Leicester manager Nigel Pearson is the current favorite to take over at the Riverside with Karanka's former assistant at Boro, Steve Agnew, another likely candidate.

Other names linked with the job include the likes of former Netherlands manager Guus Hiddink, former England boss Steve McLaren and last season's Premier League winning coach, Claudio Ranieri.

Ranieri was sacked from his role at Leicester earlier this year despite winning the Premier League with the Foxes who were 5,000/1 underdogs to lift the trophy at the start of the 2015/2016 campaign.

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