Mark Hughes may be willing to remain out of management for a year after quitting as Fulham boss, his agent Kia Joorabchian has revealed.
Hughes left Craven Cottage on Thursday to stir speculation he could be on his way to managerless Aston Villa or Chelsea. A statement from Hughes, however, denied he had already been approached by another club with Joorabchian revealing the 47-year-old's decision had been motivated by Fulham's inability to match his ambitions.
Joorabchian and Hughes are instead now set to discuss their options, with Chelsea amongst the clubs he would like to talk to, although the former Manchester City boss could sit out of management until he finds the right job. "He wants to go to club where he can fight for titles, whether that is in England, Spain, Italy or Portugal," Joorabchian told Sky Sports News.
"If that means he has to be out of management for a year then that is the case. Mark left Fulham because he wanted to explore his aspirations. Mark made his aspiration clear when he first signed his contract last year.
"One of the things that he looked for was to see if Fulham wanted to go to the next level. If the ambitions didn't align then he didn't think it would be fair to stay in the job if he was looking over his shoulder all the time."
Joorabchian admitted that Hughes would welcome any approach from his former club Chelsea, but re-iterated that no talks had taken place.
"I stick by what we are saying - we were not talking to anybody. No other club is in consideration," he added. "The timing may have influenced the press and public that he's headed in a direction. That's not the case.
"Chelsea have some candidates at the moment and we'll wait and see. If they approach Mark he'll be happy to speak to them. It would be an honour for him. But we've not spoken to any club. Now that he has left Fulham we can explore options in the next few weeks."
Joorabchian denied that Hughes had made a verbal agreement with Fulham to remain and labelled his decision to leave as "honourable" because it allowed the club the maximum time available to prepare ahead of the new season.
"He gave Fulham everything he could during his one-year contract," he said. "But he wanted to be honest with them rather than letting them spend in transfer window on players he had recommended and then leave," he said. He wanted to be honest and say 'I can't commit'."