Mark Hughes Returns To Premier League!

Mark Hughes will be announced as Fulham’s new manager within the next 24 hours after accepting club owner Mohamed Al Fayed’s offer to replace Roy Hodgson at Craven Cottage. A Fulham spokesperson said: 'I can confirm that we are hopeful of an announcement within the next 24 to 48 hours.'

The Welshman, who has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester City in December, will be handed the same £2million-a-year salary that was offered to Jol and can expect a transfer kitty in the region of £20m. His appointment represents a considerable coup for Fulham, especially after the disappointment of failing to land Jol, given that just two years ago he was entrusted with the task of turning City into a top-four outfit and was handed a multi-million pound budget to achieve that aim.

And, although the funds on offer at Fulham are extremely modest by comparison,
Hughes still faces a tough task to improve on the achievements of Hodgson last season after he guided the club to a comfortable 12-placed finish in the league and the Europa League final.

Hughes is understood to have pondered long and hard whether Hodgson’s spectacular achievements of last season had seen Fulham advance as far as they could go. In addition, Hughes has given plenty of consideration to the subject of disrupting his family’s settled life in Cheshire in favour of a move to the capital.

However, the Welshman clearly feels that, with Al Fayed’s backing, he can build on the success of the previous campaign. Despite Sven Goran Eriksson being consistently linked with the post, the former England manager was never approached by Fulham, while other candidates such as Ottmar Hitzfeld and Alan Curbishley were also discounted.

Hughes had been linked with the Aston Villa job as speculation grew over Martin O’Neill’s future, a situation which prompted him to reject the chance to replace Gianfranco Zola at West Ham. But with the start of the Premier League season less than three weeks away, the timing is perfect for both Hughes and Fulham.

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