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By ESPN Staff

Hughes: I'm in charge at City

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has issued a defiant warning that he is in charge and declared that no-one will leave Eastlands without his permission.

Hughes, who re-iterated he remains focused on driving the club forward, has made it plain to any unsettled players his word is law.

The former Blackburn boss has become exasperated at reports linking Vedran Corluka to Tottenham and Stephen Ireland to Sunderland.

Hughes is adamant the pair are staying put and said: 'I had a meeting with all the players the other day and the contents will remain private.

'But basically we needed to make the group aware that I am in charge and will make decisions that will affect players.

'If players leave, then that decision will be mine and mine solely. That's where we are and I think everyone understands the situation.'

Corluka will return to the squad for the UEFA Cup match against FC Midtjylland tomorrow despite continued speculation he will soon set up camp at White Hart Lane.

Hughes, though, is adamant where the future lies for the Croatia defender.

He said: 'Vedran's agent has a vested interest in his client but the matter has been resolved.

'I have discussed the situation at length with Vedran and he won't be leaving the club. He is very much a Manchester City player.'

Hughes admitted it had been difficult week leading up to the second round first-leg match against the Danish league leaders.

Owner Thaksin Shinawatra's decision to return to England and seek refuge rather than face corruption charges in Thailand sparked turmoil at the club.

While executive chairman Garry Cook moved to allay fears that there are serious financial worries, Hughes still felt obliged to clarify his own position amid talk of internal conflict.

On the eve of the cup game, the former Manchester United star again stated he had no intention of walking away.

He said 'People might have been concerned that maybe funds won't be available for me to bring players to the club. I have been reassured that is not the case.

'We are actively pursuing players.

'My part of the club has not changed to any great extent. We are interested in good players at the right price.

'I speak to Garry Cook on a daily basis and we are always having conversations about where we feel the club should be going.

'Maybe there have been misunderstandings and mistakes made but that happens in any big organisation when you make changes. It is not an issue.

'I am clear we are going in the right direction. It's a great club and a big club. I want to move it forward.'

Meanwhile midfielder Michael Johnson is close to agreeing a lucrative new deal.

Hughes added: 'Negotiations with Michael are ongoing and we are hopeful they will be concluded very quickly.

'There are a few 'Ts' to be crossed and 'Is' to be dotted but we are very close.'


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