Aitor Karanka intends to honour his contract at Nottingham Forest, but remains coy on his long-term future.

Upon taking the reins in January, the Spaniard committed to a deal through to 2020.

He still has 18 months to run on that agreement and hopes to deliver on his remit of returning Premier League football to the City Ground.

There are no plans to weigh up his options next summer, with Karanka telling Goal: “At the moment I have this year and one more left on my contract. I signed for two-and-a-half years, as I did with Middlesbrough.

“The idea, hopefully, is to establish the team in the first season, qualify for the play-offs and the third year secure promotion.”

Return to roots

Karanka remains in a position to guide Forest back to the big time in the current campaign, with the play-off berth he is targeting still very much on the cards.

There is still plenty for him to achieve in England, particularly with the ambitious Reds, but he cannot rule out a return to his roots at some stage.

“Return to Spain? In football you never know,” added Karanka.


“Right now I want to combine my work with my family. I’ve been a coach for five years and I want to build a quiet career, doing what I like and where I want to be.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

“Right now I can combine being at an historic club like Forest, in a great league like the Championship, and be with my family, so the truth is that I am comfortable.”

That is refreshing to hear, with there little chance of Karanka’s head being turned at present.

He is proud to have been given the opportunity to return former glories to Forest, with the intention being to replicate the success he achieved in a previous post at Middlesbrough.

Change embraced

Pressed on the differences between those two roles, Karanka said: “First of all, the history.

“Boro’s track record was a League Cup and they had been in the Championship for six years. Forest have two European Cups and nearly 20 years in lower divisions.

“When I arrived in Middlesbrough, it had to be built from zero. Now at Forest it is similar, which is not easy.

“But the change has still been quite big. In fact, in one year we have changed 17 players. It had to be a radical change from the beginning, but things are going well.”

Change has been embraced under Karanka and owner Evangelos Marinakis, but here’s hoping there isn’t more to come in the dugout any time soon.

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