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By ESPN Staff

City play down links with Klinsmann

Manchester City have distanced themselves from speculation that Jurgen Klinsmann has been approached about the possibility of replacing Mark Hughes in the summer.

Manager Hughes has struggled to get his team performing consistently this season and heads to West Ham on Sunday with City still looking for their first Premier League away win since August.

Domestic cup defeats to Brighton and Nottingham Forest have hardly helped the Welshman either.

However, having just secured a draw at Liverpool and reached the last 16 of the UEFA, where they will meet Danish outfit Aalborg next month, Hughes' position seems more secure than it has done for some time.

And City insiders have privately revealed that although a board meeting was held in Abu Dhabi yesterday, the subject matter rarely strayed beyond a number of internal appointments currently being put together and at no stage was Hughes' position even discussed.

While it would be understandable if owner Sheikh Mansour was disappointed at the way his first season at the helm has gone so far, his whole regime has tended to give the impression of preferring to take time over any major decisions, rather than adopt the knee-jerk approach of Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Thai Prime Minister, jettisoned by the club earlier this month and now being sought for extradition back to his homeland.

Klinsmann would be an obvious choice if Sheikh Mansour was to make a change, having guided Bayern Munich to a memorable five-goal Champions League win over Sporting Lisbon earlier this week.

He also has a World Cup semi-final appearance on his coaching CV from 2006, a legacy of his time in charge of the German national side.

However, he is not popular with everyone in Munich and a move to England, where he enjoyed a spell with Tottenham, may appeal.

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