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By ESPN Staff

Man City confirm Hughes as new manager

Manchester City have confirmed that Mark Hughes has been appointed as the club's new manager.

City parted company with Sven-Goran Eriksson on Monday and were immediately given permission to talk to Blackburn manager Hughes, 44, with a compensation package agreed yesterday.

Hughes was also believed to be interesting Chelsea after a successful four years at Rovers but has opted to move to Eastlands on a three-year deal.

City's new chief executive, Garry Cook, told the club's: 'I am delighted to welcome Mark on board. In our view he is the brightest young manager in the game and he was our number one target for the manager's job.'

Hughes, who will be presented to the media at a press conference tomorrow morning, agreed to the move after meeting Cook yesterday evening.

Cook himself has only just had his appointment confirmed by owner Thaksin Shinawatra and flew in from the USA to seal the deal.

Cook continued: 'He made it clear to us from the moment we met that he shared our vision and ambition to make Manchester City one of the top sides in the country.

'It's a privilege to join Dr Thaksin here at Manchester City. There is no better opportunity in world football.

'The club intends to invest in new players as well as securing the long-term services of key members of the current first-team squad.

'Mark has already identified some of the players and backroom staff that he wants to see here at City, and we will begin the process of recruiting them immediately.'

Hughes will take up his new position with immediate effect.

Hughes is expected to be followed to the City of Manchester Stadium by his assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki with compensation believed to be in the region of £5million.

Hughes began his managerial career with the Wales national team following his international retirement in 1999.

Wales were at a low ebb when Hughes took over but the former striker turned things round and, after beating Italy, they narrowly failed to reach Euro 2004 when they were beaten in a play-off by Russia.

Hughes left his Wales post in September 2004 to take over at Blackburn, who were struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League.

In his four years at Ewood Park, Hughes - a former Blackburn player - transformed the side into a top-six outfit, twice qualifying for the UEFA Cup.

Rovers also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup twice and the last four of the Carling Cup, while Hughes has proved himself a canny operator in the transfer market, bringing in strikers Benni McCarthy and Roque Santa Cruz in cut-price deals.

Blackburn just missed out on European football for next season and, with City having qualified through the Fair Play League, that may have influenced Hughes' decision.

City owner Thaksin hailed the qualities of his new manager, telling the Daily Mail today: 'He's an outstanding manager who has achieved many things with Blackburn.'

Hughes was a legend at Manchester United during his playing days and has been tipped for the top job at Old Trafford when Sir Alex Ferguson retires.

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