Aitor Karanka’s future as Middlesbrough head coach is shrouded in uncertainty amid speculation that he could be about to leave the club.
It is understood the Spaniard left the training ground unexpectedly on Friday following a meeting, and he is believed to be considering his future.
Karanka did not take training on Saturday morning and the club have released a statement.
Boro go into the weekend sitting in second place in the table, four points behind leaders Burnley with a game in hand and two points clear of the chasing pack.
However, they have won just three of their last 10 games and taken 12 points from a possible 30 to surrender what was once a commanding lead.
There is also an ongoing debate over Karanka’s use of £9million January signing Jordan Rhodes, who has started just four times in eight appearances and scored a single goal since his arrival from Blackburn.
Former Boro boss Steve McClaren, who was axed by Newcastle on Friday, has already been mentioned as a man who could step into the breach if Karanka walks away.