Aitor Karanka is confident old friend Jose Mourinho will be back in management before long - because he is the best in the business.
The 53-year-old Portuguese has been out of work since parting company with Chelsea in December, but has been repeatedly linked with the Manchester United job currently occupied by Louis van Gaal.
Reports over the weekend suggested United had struck a "gentlemen's agreement" with Mourinho to replace the Dutchman at the end of the season, and Middlesbrough head coach Karanka, who served as his number two at Real Madrid, is convinced he will be back in the hot-seat sooner rather than later.
The Spaniard said: "I can be concerned with a coach who has been sacked one or two months ago and he doesn't have a team now and he isn't going to have a team.
"But Jose, I don't think he has problems to take a team next season.
"When I speak with him, I don't speak anything about his future because I know he is going to be working because he is the best."