Mark Hughes quits Fulham as Aston Villa link intensifies
Welshman leaves Craven Cottage after less than a year in charge as Aston Villa speculation increases
Mark Hughes has resigned as Fulham manager after less than a year at Craven Cottage, heightening speculation he will succeed Gerard Houllier as Aston Villa boss.
The 47-year-old Welshman has been linked with the Villa Park role following the news that Houllier had left the Midlands club on Wednesday after just nine months in charge.
But the former Manchester United forward, who will serve a month’s notice and then be available to another club from the end of June, insists he has not been approached by any other team.
Hughes said: “I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that neither myself nor my representative have approached or have been approached by another club.
“This decision to leave Fulham has not been influenced by any outside party.”
Hughes led Fulham to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League, and Europa League qualification through the Fair Play League.
But the Londoners were unable to prevent him from walking away from a job he took up less than 12 months ago.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Hughes began his managerial career as Wales boss in 1999 before taking over at Blackburn Rovers, where he spent four seasons. He then took the reigns at Manchester City in 2008 before being sacked just over a year later by the club’s new owners.
Fulham said in a statement: “Fulham Football Club can confirm that Mark Hughes has provided notice, under the terms of his contract, to leave the club at the end of June. After discussions with Mark the club has agreed to accept this notice.”