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Mark Hughes resigns as Fulham manager
02 June 11 18:58 GMT
Fulham manager Mark Hughes has resigned after less than a year in charge at Craven Cottage.
Hughes has been linked with the vacant job at Aston Villa, although the Midlands club have denied making any contact with the Welshman.
The 47-year-old also denied that he had been approached by another club before he chose to quit.
"As a young, ambitious manager I wish to move on to further my experiences," he said.
"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 would also 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."
Fulham had been in talks with Hughes to extend the two-year deal he signed in July.
However, the club admitted defeat in their attempts to prevent him walking away after he offered his resignation.
Hughes will serve a month's notice and be available to another club from the end of June - but BBC Sport understands that Premier League rules mean neither he nor his agent can be contacted by other clubs until after 30 June.
The former Manchester City manager, whose final game in charge of the club was a 2-2 draw with Arsenal, had brought stability to Fulham in the wake of predecessor Roy Hodgson's departure to Liverpool last summer.
Deprived of the services of striker Bobby Zamora for much of the season, Hughes steered the club to an eighth-place finish with 49 points - four places and three points better than they achieved in their previous campaign.
Fulham also qualified for Europe after topping the Premier League's fairplay standings.
Hughes' first foray into management was with Wales who he took to within one game of qualifying for Euro 2004.
He subsequently took over at Blackburn and, after avoiding relegation in his first season, managed three successive top-10 finishes to attract the attention of Manchester City in June 2008.
After the Abu Dhabi Group's takeover of the Eastlands club three months later, Hughes oversaw a spending spree that included the recruitment of Brazilian playmaker Robinho for £32.4m, a British record at the time.
The likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Joleon Lescott and Carlos Tevez followed, but Hughes' results failed to match the owners' expectations and he was fired in December 2009 with City sixth in the Premier League.
He had been out of work until being appointed at Fulham, but has since been linked with Bayern Munich, a club he played for in 1987-88 when on loan from Barcelona.
Reports that the German side were interested in him replacing Louis van Gaal emerged in March.
At the time Hughes denied he was interested in moving on, describing Fulham as "a great club...going in the right direction".
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