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Aitor Karanka leaves role as Nottingham Forest manager amid increasing pressure as club reveal he 'asked to be released' from contract

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 11/01/2019 Laurie Whitwell for MailOnline
Aitor Karanka has left his role after months of speculation © Getty Aitor Karanka has left his role after months of speculation

Aitor Karanka has left Nottingham Forest with the club saying he has ‘asked to be released from his contract’.

The Spaniard’s position was precarious ever since the Boxing Day draw at Norwich and owner Evangelos Marinakis finally called time on his tenure on Friday morning.

The pair were locked in talks most of Thursday in an attempt to resolve what had become a fractious atmosphere behind the scenes but a parting of the ways was inevitable. Slavisa Jokanovic is a contender for the position. 

Marinakis accepted Karanka's resignation © Reuters Marinakis accepted Karanka's resignation

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As revealed by Sportsmail in October, Marinakis demanded results improve during an address at the training ground and there is still frustration at the side’s position, four points off the play-offs, after a £25million summer spend.

But friction between Karanka and the club’s hierarchy has cut patience further. It is alleged that the 45-year-old consistently made issues out of trivial matters in an attempt to establish his power, made extravagant demands in the transfer market, and exhibited mood swings that became difficult to work with.

Karanka was known to be annoyed at the hiring of director of football Kyriakos Dourekas at the start of December and fought against the potential appointment of Jose Anigo, a former Marseille manager, as sporting director. Karanka’s reaction was similar in his previous role at Middlesbrough when Victor Orta joined to lead recruitment.

Karanka also developed a frosty relationship with several players. Marinakis was ready to pull the trigger after Forest let slip a 3-0 lead at Carrow Road a fortnight ago but relented and then watched a defeat at Millwall and a victory over Leeds.

But as discord continued behind the scenes the Greek businessman felt he had to act. He was at the Nigel Doughty Academy on Thursday to observe training and then summoned Karanka to a meeting to thrash out differences.

A resolution could not be found and it appears Karanka was satisfied to leave the club a year and two days after his appointment. Both parties wrestled over the exact terms of his departure before an announcement was made on Friday morning.

Karanka's last game in charge was at Chelsea in the FA Cup © Getty Karanka's last game in charge was at Chelsea in the FA Cup

A statement read: ‘Aitor Karanka has asked to be released from his contract as the manager of Nottingham Forest Football Club.

‘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.’ 

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