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Hughes set to take over Villa reins?

Mark Hughes is on Aston Villa's radar as a potential successor to Gerard Houllier, according to ESPNsoccernet sources.

• Houllier set to leave Villa - report

Hughes' contract expires on July 1, as the former Manchester City boss took on the Fulham post on a year-long rolling deal.

The Welshman was linked to the Villa vacancy when Martin O'Neill unexpectedly quit on the eve of the 2010-11 season, but by that time Hughes had accepted the Fulham job, and the vacancy eventually went to Houllier. With Houllier expected to leave Villa shortly after ill-health curtailed what had been an unsuccessful spell at Villa Park, Hughes will again be high on owner Randy Lerner's wish-list.

The source said: "Mark Hughes will be wanted by Villa, that seems a certainty.

"A big club like Villa would also certainly be a huge temptation for Mark, and it it was offered to him, it would be no surprise if he accepted it."

It would be a big shock to Fulham if Hughes walked out for another club, with the Cottagers trying to tempt Hughes to sign a new more long-term contract and a Europa League campaign beckoning.

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