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Mark Hughes future up in the air

last updated Friday 25th March 2011, 10:15 AM
Fulham manager Mark Hughes
Fulham manager Mark Hughes
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Fulham have been set a dilemma. The club know that manager Mark Hughes could well be in demand this summer - and not least because it has emerged that his contract is only a one-year deal with an option for another year rather than the two-year contract that everyone thought he had signed when his arrival was announced last August

It means that Hughes could, if he wished, although there is no sign that he does, leave without any compensation being paid. Certainly Bayern Munich have being checking out his contract situation, having identified Hughes as one of three candidates to succeed Louis van Gaal. The Welshman has said he is flattered by the interest although the likelihood seems that Bayern with go for the safer option of approaching Bayer Leverkusen's Jupp Heynckes.

A more likely scenario is that Aston Villa may again consider Hughes if they decide on a change of management. He has certainly been discussed before, prior to Gerard Houllier's appointment, and despite the claims that the club's board are fully behind the Frenchman, that may change if the present struggles continue.

Would Hughes go to Villa? Possibly. It leaves Fulham with a decision to make and that decision is clouded by the fact that the club is, although sitting in 12th place in the Premier League, still just three points clear of the relegation zone. If Fulham did go down would they want Hughes as manager anyway?

It means that any talks on a new contract may have to wait, but if Fulham wait they increase the risk of someone else poaching Hughes. Beyond that the club may well have to convince the manager that they will back him in the transfer market this summer.

It appears the squad is in need of an overhaul and there is talk of a £20million budget which would undoubtedly help tell Hughes his future lies at Craven Cottage.

Source Jason Burt at Daily Telegraph
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