Aitor Karanka won 80 of his 171 games at Middlesbrough in his first managerial job
Championship club Nottingham Forest have named former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka as their new boss.
Karanka has agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal to replace Mark Warburton, who was sacked on 31 December after nine months in charge.
The 44-year-old Spaniard has been out of work since being dismissed by Boro in March 2017.
Karanka spent three and a half years on Teesside, earning promotion to the Premier League in the 2015-16 season.
But he was sacked with the club in the relegation zone following a run of 10 games without a win.
His first game as Reds boss will be against Aston Villa at the City Ground on 13 January, while he can also look forward to an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Hull City following Forest’s 4-2 victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
Forest are 14th in the Championship, 11 points below the play-off places.
Chairman Nicholas Randall said: “He is an exceptional candidate who fully subscribes to the vision of the club’s owners and board for the future of the club.
“Our objective is clear: we want to continue building this fantastic football club and lead it to a bright future.
“The wonderful supporters of the club deserve success and a return to the Premier League. We are all working hard off the pitch to achieve this goal and we believe that Aitor will ensure that we can get the job done on the field of play.”
Karanka is Nottingham Forest’s 10th full-time manager since Billy Davies’ dismissal in June 2011.
The former Real Madrid assistant had reportedly been close to leaving Middlesbrough in March 2016 after a training-ground row, with similar reports preceding his eventual departure 12 months later.
He had helped Middlesbrough avoid relegation from the Championship in his first season at the club, having taken over with them 16th in the table, before leading them back to the Premier League after a seven-year absence in the following campaign.