Aitor Karanka: Birmingham City appoint ex-Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest boss

Aitor Karanka has left Nottingham Forest

Former Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has been appointed the new Birmingham City head coach.

The Spaniard's odds with Sky Bet had come in as short as 2/5 earlier this week before the book was closed on who the Blues would appoint as Pep Clotet's successor.

Now the 46-year-old's appointment has been confirmed.

"I'm delighted to be joining a club with the history and fanbase that Birmingham City has," said Karanka

"I share the excitement and determination of everyone here to start working together on all the challenges that lie ahead."

Birmingham narrowly avoided relegation from the Sky Bet Championship after failing to win any of their nine post-shutdown matches, as they finished 20th and just two points above the drop zone.

Clotet had been due to leave at the end of the season anyway, but that poor run saw his spell end early on July 8.

Karanka, who was sacked by Forest in January 2019 and has been out of work since, will arrive at St Andrew's with an impressive CV as both a manager and coach.

He worked as Jose Mourinho's assistant at Real Madrid, before joining Middlesbrough in 2013. He guided them to the Sky Bet Championship play-off final in his first full season in charge and went one better the following year by securing automatic promotion in 2016.

The former Real and Spain defender left Boro in March 2017 with the club on the brink of relegation from the Premier League.

His stint at the City Ground then lasted almost exactly a year before he was sacked with Forest seventh in the Sky Bet Championship table.

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