Friday 23 March 2018

Hughes' future up in the air

Fulham have just 12 days to sign Mark Hughes on a new contract or risk losing their manager.

Hughes has a break clause in his two-year deal which can be activated on June 1. He could, in theory, leave the Premier League club as a free agent on June 30.

A number of other clubs are aware that Fulham have not yet carried out their stated intent to sign Hughes, who arrived last August, to a new extended deal.

According to sources, there have been only initial discussions but no offer has been made.

Fulham deny there is a problem. A spokesman said last night: "Mark has made it clear he is happy here and looking forward to the next campaign. We, and he, are looking forward to building on what has been achieved in the past nine months. We are adamant that he will be staying at Fulham."

There is also understood to be concern from Hughes as to whether he will be given the funds he was promised -- £20m has been mooted -- to improve the squad.

Aston Villa, who considered making a move for Hughes last year when Martin O'Neill left, are waiting to hear whether Gerard Houllier will continue as their manager following his health problems.

If not then they might be interested in Hughes -- who has enjoyed an outstanding campaign despite severe injury problems at Fulham -- who now sit eighth in the Premier League table and are set to qualify for the Europa League through the Fair Play League.

Irish Independent

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