Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka denies Valencia link

Gary Neville

Basque boss has no intention of return to Spain and is happy on Teesside.

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has played down reports linking him with La Liga giants Valencia.

Gary Neville is currently in charge of Valencia after taking charge late last year but has been under pressure from the off and speculation suggests he may not continue beyond this summer.

Karanka's name has been linked, and reports claim that leading agent Jorge Mendes, who brokered his original deal to Boro, has put him forward at Valencia - a club he has close contacts with, but the Boro boss insists that is not the case.

Karanka is confident in the work he has done at The Riverside and wants to guide them back to the top-flight for the first time since 2009.

“I’ve never been in touch with him since I arrived here. The last time I spoke with him was more than two years ago. That was funny. There is nothing in it for me because my head is here at Middlesbrough. I am already in the best place to work," he told a news conference when asked about the link, which was covered by the Gazette.

Karanka, who joined Boro in 2013, only signed a new four-year contract in the summer and he is more than happy with how things are going with Boro - who are favourites for promotion from the Championship.

“If I was thinking of other places I wouldn’t have signed a new contract,” he said. “I would have finished this season and I would have been free at the end of this season.

“I signed (for) four years here because I want to be here, my family is happy here, and I want to stay here. I have said always that I am in the right place to be. I want to fulfil the targets I had in my mind when I moved to Middlesbrough.

“We are in a better position than we were in my first season, last season we were in a better position than we were in my first season.

“For that reason I just have to keep going and take it step-by-step, hopefully one day we will play in the Premier League.” 

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