Middlesbrough sacked Garry Monk because they believe they can get Tony Pulis to replace him

Monk had meetings about future plans with the club this week and was blindsided by the sacking

Ed Malyon
Sports Editor
Sunday 24 December 2017 14:18
Comments
Boro will try to replace Garry Monk
Boro will try to replace Garry Monk

Middlesbrough sacked Garry Monk because they believe they can attract Tony Pulis to the Riverside Stadium, The Independent understands.

Monk was fired on Saturday night after a phone call from chairman Steve Gibson. Monk had expected the call to be a congratulatory one but it ended with him being told that he would be released from the long-term contract he signed when he took over in the summer.

The news had blindsided the former Swansea boss, not just because of the victory over Sheffield Wednesday but also because he had held meetings just days before about the club’s upcoming transfer plans. Boro were just three points off the play-offs after a few months of transitioning to Monk’s style of play.

But that transition looks set to never be complete, and sources have told The Independent that Gibson feels the Boro squad, which is largely comprised of players that succeeded under Aitor Karanka’s management, is more suited to a pragmatic style of football than the more open game Monk had been trying to move towards.

Which is why Pulis, newly unemployed after leaving West Bromwich Albion last month, became the number one option.

Pulis is favourite for the Boro job if Gibson can convince him to join

Should Gibson be able to secure the Welshman then it would be a major coup for a Championship club given Pulis’ impeccable Premier League pedigree. The 59-year-old former Stoke and Crystal Palace boss has never been relegated from the top flight, but hasn’t managed in the second tier for a decade, since leading the Potters to promotion in 2007/08.

Monk is expected to take some time off but is keen for a new project for 2018. The Englishman had discussions with Norwich last summer and could be of interest to the Canaries should the under-pressure Daniel Farke fail to improve results.

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