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Aaron Hughes agrees one-year contract extension at Hearts

By Adam McKendry

Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes has prolonged by playing career by signing a one-year extension to his contract at Hearts.

The centre-back had been contemplating retirement following Northern Ireland's tour of Central America, but has now opted to play on for another year.

Hughes, 38, joined Hearts in January 2017 on a six-month deal, but impressed at Tynecastle and was rewarded with a contract for the 2017-18 season.

Now he has become a fan favourite in Edinburgh, making 35 appearances, and the club were quick to offer him another year once last season ended.

The experienced defender, who has also played for Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Fulham, is Britain's most-capped defender with 112 international caps for Northern Ireland.

"I needed a little bit of time to figure out if I was able to do another year, mentally and physically," Hughes told Hearts' official website.

"I came to the decision that I’d like to stay on and I’m very grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity.

"When I say it was an easy decision, once I’d come to the decision to play, it wasn’t hard to have a chat with the gaffer and say I wanted to stay on.

"I’ve enjoyed my 18-months here immensely. The club has been great with me since I came back from abroad, so there was no hard decision to carry on after I knew that I could do."

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