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Mark Hughes linked to Aston Villa job

last updated Tuesday 10th August 2010, 9:18 AM
Fulham manager Mark Hughes
Fulham manager Mark Hughes
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Aston Villa were on Monday night considering making a formal approach for Fulham's Mark Hughes after Martin O'Neill quit as the club's manager.

Extraordinarily, Hughes is believed to figure prominently in Villa's possible candidates even though he signed a two-year deal at Craven Cottage only on July 29 and is yet to take charge of a competitive game.

However the only chance of Hughes leaving Fulham would be if the club accepted his contract being bought out by Villa. It is unthinkable that Fulham would even countenance this, or that Hughes would welcome it at this stage, which means that Villa will have to start a wider search just four days before the start of the Premier League season.

Alan Curbishley is among a number of out-of-work managers who would covet the post - Sven-Göran Eriksson would also be on that list - but Villa will undoubtedly look elsewhere first. Martin Jol, ironically the man whose decision to turn down Fulham led to Hughes's eventual appointment, is also under consideration although it would be extremely costly to extricate him from Ajax.

O'Neill left after what sources described as a "disastrous" meeting on Sunday evening with the club's hierarchy. There has been tension for several months - and O'Neill and the club have had to deal with persistent suggestions he was about to leave - but this is understood to have spilt over with a disagreement over the transfer funds being made available to the now former manager before the window closes.

Source Jason Burt at Daily Telegraph
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