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Karanka leaves Middlesbrough, assistant Agnew steps up

Britain Football Soccer - Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough - Premier League - Selhurst Park - 25/2/17 Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka Reuters / Hannah McKay Livepic/files
Britain Football Soccer - Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough - Premier League - Selhurst Park - 25/2/17 Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka Reuters / Hannah McKay Livepic/files

LONDON (Reuters) - Aitor Karanka was sacked as Middlesbrough manager on Thursday with the Spaniard's assistant Steve Agnew taking over with immediate effect, the Premier League club said.

"Both parties have agreed that it is in the best interests of the club to make this change," Middlesbrough said in a statement.

The relegation-threatened club, promoted last season after a seven-year absence from the top flight, thanked Karanka for his work over the past three-and-a-half years.

Middlesbrough are 19th in the 20-team Premier League.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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