Forest agree to release Karanka

By Sports Desk January 11, 2019

Aitor Karanka has left his role as manager of Nottingham Forest after the club agreed to release him from his contract.

Speculation has been building over recent weeks that the Spaniard's days at the City Ground were numbered, amid rumours of a major fall-out with the club's hierarchy.

Karanka was appointed in January last year, having been sacked by Middlesbrough in March 2017 with the club heading for relegation from the Premier League.

His last game in charge of Forest was Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup third-round defeat at Chelsea. His most recent Championship outing was an impressive 4-2 defeat of leaders Leeds United on New Year's Day, a triumph which ended a five-match winless run and leaves Forest just one place and four points outside the play-offs.

"Aitor Karanka has asked to be released from his contract as the manager of Nottingham Forest Football Club," a brief statement read.

"The club have agreed to this request and the terms of departure have been agreed. Both parties wish each other every success for the future. There will be no further comment from either party.

"Simon Ireland will take charge of first-team affairs until a new manager is appointed."

Related items

  • Real Madrid 'best club in the world', says ex-Barcelona attacker Takefusa Kubo Real Madrid 'best club in the world', says ex-Barcelona attacker Takefusa Kubo

    Former Barcelona youth player Takefusa Kubo labelled Real Madrid "the best club in the world" following his move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Kubo, who previously played at Barcelona's La Masia academy, joined Madrid from J.League outfit Tokyo for a €2million fee last month.

    The highly rated Japan international is set to play for Madrid's reserve team Castilla in 2019-20, but the 18-year-old has made an immediate impression during the club's pre-season training camp in Montreal.

    Discussing his start to life with Madrid, Kubo – who spent four years at Barca before leaving in 2015 after the Catalan club were found to have violated FIFA's international transfer policy for under-18 youths – told Real Madrid TV: "In Japan there is a lot of passion for Real Madrid and I am very proud to play for the best club in the world.

    "Players and coaches here are very friendly and I have been able to adapt very well, we have to take advantage of this opportunity, but you also have to have fun because not everyone has this opportunity.

    "I'm learning a lot as a footballer and as a person, both on and off the field, I'm having a great time."

    Madrid kick-off their International Champions Cup campaign against Bundesliga holders Bayern Munich in Texas on Saturday.

  • Real Madrid's Luka Jovic has 'really big dreams' Real Madrid's Luka Jovic has 'really big dreams'

    Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic said he has "really big dreams" as he prepares for his first season with the LaLiga giants.

    Jovic joined Madrid from Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in a €60million deal after scoring 27 goals in all competitions last term.

    The 21-year-old Serbia international has emerged as one of the most lethal forwards in Europe, where he also reportedly attracted interest from Barcelona and Manchester City prior to moving to Madrid.

    Jovic will team up with the likes of Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric under Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu, and he is aiming high in the Spanish capital.

    "In the beginning, I was born in a small village in Serbia with 105 houses, a place that you have probably never heard of before," Jovic wrote in The Players' Tribune. "Where is this story going next? What will I achieve? What is the ending? I don’t know, but I have really big dreams. 

    "I am very excited to come to Real Madrid, and once again, I would like to thank the club and the supporters of Eintracht Frankfurt for making me feel at home the last two years. Danke."

    Jovic made his professional debut as a 16-year-old for Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade in 2014 before eventually transferring to Benfica two years later.

    He struggled to establish himself in Lisbon, eventually moving to Eintracht on an initial two-year loan deal, which became permanent in April as the German outfit made a significant profit on Jovic.

    Jovic said: "Things have happened very fast for me. A few years ago, I was just dreaming of playing for Red Star. To play in a Europa League semi-final [against Chelsea], to play in a World Cup, and now to move to Real Madrid, it is incredible.

    "But I think the most important thing for a striker is confidence. I've never doubted my worth. I just feel like I have a quality that I was born with, and I will never doubt it.

    "It's funny, the last time I played for the national team, one of my team-mates, Stefan Mitrovic, said something like, 'Man, the things I could do if I had your confidence'.

    "But for me, it just makes sense. How can you be a striker without confidence? For this position, the most important part is not the beginning, it is the ending."

    "Sometimes I think I was just born with it," he added. "Everyone in this life has certain talents, and I think mine is scoring goals."

  • Mertens: Napoli must buy players amid James links Mertens: Napoli must buy players amid James links

    Dries Mertens said Napoli must buy new and "top level" players if they want to dethrone Serie A champions Juventus.

    Napoli have been linked to Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez throughout the transfer window as they look to eclipse back-to-back runners-up finishes.

    Colombia star James is wanted by head coach Carlo Ancelotti and Napoli, though a deal with the LaLiga giants is yet to be completed.

    As the season edges closer, Napoli – who finished 11 points adrift of Juve last term – need to reinforce their squad, according to veteran forward Mertens.

    "I just want to say that I see other teams are buying a lot, we've signed Kostas [Manolas]," the 32-year-old Belgium international, who has been linked to the Chinese Super League, said during a Q&A.

    "All those we buy must be at the top level and therefore someone like James would be welcome to aim even higher. He could make the difference.

    "I think we need to buy great players to raise the level of the team. We already have a strong squad, but if we want to win something, we need to buy in order to raise the level. That is clear."

    Napoli have already boosted their defence with the signing of Greece international Manolas from Italian rivals Roma.

    Manolas is set to form one of the best centre-back pairings in Serie A alongside Kalidou Koulibaly following his €36million arrival.

    "I found a very good atmosphere and a warm welcome," Manolas said. "I won't tell you the reason I left Roma, as it's personal. The first call I received about Napoli was from my agent, then the director and the coach.

    "They made me feel secure about my decision and it was clear straight away that they really wanted me in this team. I never had doubts, that's why I chose Napoli and I am sure I made the right decision.

    "I liked watching the way Napoli played and was eager to become a part of it. I'd give anything to win the Scudetto here.

    "Carlo Ancelotti is unique for what he's won throughout his career. I promise that I'll do everything I can to help the team achieve their targets and aim as high as possible."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.