Hughes handed funds to boost City

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has been promised substantial funds for new players after taking over at Eastlands.

Hughes will be unveiled to the media tomorrow after agreeing a three-year deal.

The former Blackburn boss replaces Sven-Goran Eriksson, who left the club on Monday after only a season in charge and is now coach of Mexico.

New executive chairman Gary Cook told www.mcfc.co.uk: “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 and is expected to be followed by his assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki with compensation already settled.

There is some turmoil in the dressing room with captain Richard Dunne unsettled and dismayed at the way contract talks unfolded as it became clear Eriksson was about to be shown the door.

Micah Richards, Michael Johnson and Stephen Ireland are among the younger generation who will need to be convinced by Hughes that City are a progressive club.

Hughes also knows that City are short up front and recruiting a quality striker will undoubtedly be a priority in the transfer market.

He has shown himself to have an eye for a bargain in that department during his time at Blackburn by drafting in Benni McCarthy then Roque Santa Cruz with no little success.

City are delighted to have secured Hughes’ services as Chelsea were also understood to be in the frame to appoint him after the departure of Avram Grant.

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

Cook, who met Hughes on Tuesday night, said: “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.

“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.”

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

The Principality 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 post in September 2004 to take over at Blackburn, who were struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League table.

In his four years at Ewood Park, Hughes – who had a spell at the club - 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 shrewd operator in the transfer market.

Winger David Bentley and full-back Stephen Warnock have also graduated to the England side under his tenure.

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.

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