Mark Hughes will replace Roy Hodgson as the new Fulham manager within the next 24 hours after accepting the London club’s offer of the job.
Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson is said to be bitterly disappointed by the development having been given the impression that he was under strong consideration by the Fulham board. It is suggested that the Swede was the preferred choice of chief executive Alistair Mackintosh but chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed has approved the appointment of Hughes. Al-Fayed quickly agreed personal terms and an indicative summer transfer budget, swiftly moving on after failing to land Martin Jol, who was the club’s first choice following Hodgson’s exit for Liverpool.
Hughes will bring his long-time coaching staff, including Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchock, to London and will look to quickly prepare his new side for the impending start of the domestic season after a summer full of uncertainty. Fulham have an agreement in place to sign Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell and Hughes is understood to be interested in signing free agent David James as a possible replacement for Mark Schwarzer, who has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal.
The new manager has a strong record in domestic and international management, having began his career by nearly guiding Wales to Euro 2004. He established Blackburn Rovers as a top half Premier League side and reached three domestic cup semi-finals in four seasons at Ewood Park before being harshly sacked by Manchester City.