EXCLUSIVE: Replacements considered with Birmingham set to axe Karanka

Date published: Thursday 18th February 2021 9:45 - Graeme Bailey

Aitor Karanka Birmingham manager

Birmingham City’s owners are ready to sack Aitor Karanka after their dreadful run of form continued, TEAMtalk can reveal.

The former Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest boss took charge in the summer, signing a deal to 2023. He has been well backed in the transfer market by the club’s Chinese hierarchy.

However, a run of one win in 14 games leaves Blues second from bottom and in real danger of relegation.

We understand Karanka’s position has been under review for a number of weeks. Now the club are looking at bringing an end to his tenure and are looking at options to succeed him.

However, one issue is that Karanka has two years left on a lucrative deal. That also includes a sizeable backroom staff, who would also likely depart.

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Karanka keen to battle on

Karanka spoke of his struggles at St Andrew’s in an interview with The Times last month.

He claimed being sacked was not in his thinking and he was determined to reverse their run of poor form.

“My first message to fans is ‘Keep Right On’,” Karanka says of the supporters’ own hymn to resilience.

“My second one is Keep Right Calm. I know it’s tough, but if anybody thinks I’ll just give a lot of excuses about ‘I don’t have money’ and we’re losing games and I’m going to come to my office just to sit in my chair waiting to get sacked, take my money and go home, they don’t know Aitor Karanka.

“I’m going to be here fighting until the last second. I hope this last second will be three, four, five years’ time when we are successful and in the place that the club deserves. So Keep Right Calm.”

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