Mourinho’s former no.2 Karanka is favourite for Middlesbrough job

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Mark Venus may share his surname with a planet in our solar system but you don’t have to be the brightest object in the galaxy to see he faces an uphill struggle to pip Aitor Karanka to the role of Middlesbrough manager.

The former Los Blancos defender is currently priced at 8/11 to land the top Teeside job despite 3/1 second favourite Venus overseeing an impressive 4-0 home win over Doncaster Rovers last Friday.

In truth, it’s easy to see chairman Steve Gibson’s thinking with Karanka likely to bring fresh ideas to the club having worked the previous three years as an assistant to Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.

Being a number two to the Special One certainly has its benefits, with a variety of managers emerging from the Chelsea boss’s shadow to enjoy their own success in a top job.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers began his career with the Stamford Bridge club’s academy, and later reserve team, before moving to his first managerial role at Watford, while Andre Villas-Boas famously worked alongside the Portuguese boss at Chelsea and Inter Milan.

In addition to this Karanka has previous experience as manager of Spain’s Under-16 side from 2008 to 2010 – a team made up of many of the young stars that have continued to dazzle at youth level on the international scene.

And like Gustavo Poyet at Brighton, Boro fans will be hoping the new manager can utilise some of his Spanish contacts to secure loan deals and Vicente-style bargains to help the club make a return to the Premier League.

The 40-year-old is also sure to bring plenty of ‘youthful’ vigour to the role, in much the same way another La Liga legend, Mauricio Pochettino, has done at Southampton.

With Mark Venus representing little in the way of a break away from the Tony Mowbray era, Karanka’s arrival could signal the start of an exciting new era at the Riverside.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.