Mark Hughes quits as Fulham manager

Mark Hughes has quit as Fulham manager and, despite denying that he has been approached by another club, is now favourite to replace Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa.

The Welshman had been in charge of Fulham for just one season guiding them to a respectable eighth-place finish. Although Hughes originally signed a two-year contract a break clause allowed him to leave halfway through his current deal.

'I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that neither myself nor my representative have approached or have been approached by another club,' Hughes said in a statement. 'This decision to leave Fulham has not been influenced by any outside party.'

The former Manchester City manager continued: 'I would like to thank the chairman, directors, players and fans of Fulham football club for their support over the last 12 months and wish them every success for the future.'

'I have especially enjoyed an excellent relationship with the chairman and chief executive [and] I believe my management team and I have done a good job and the club has a strong foundation from which they can go forward.'

'I hope the supporters and all those connected to the club will understand that as a young, ambitious manager I wish to move on to further my experiences. I sincerely wish Fulham a successful campaign in the Europa League next season and for their continued progress on and off the field.'

The news will come as a blow to Fulham fans who saw Roy Hodgson leave the club last season for an unsuccessful spell at Liverpool. However, the Cottagers will be able to offer their new manager the prospect of European football after qualifying for the Europa League due to their exemplary disciplinary record.

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