Fulham manager Mark Hughes is Bayern Munich’s top target to take over from Louis van Gaal when the Dutchman leaves the Bavarian giants in the summer.
However, Hughes, the former Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Wales manager, says he has no intention of swapping the Premier League and Craven Cottage for the Bundesliga and Allianz Arena.
In a week where Bayern were stunned by Internazionale and eliminated from the Champions League on home turf, Hughes has emerged as FC Hollywood’s number one target on a shortlist of three. Hughes is believed to be up against Bayer Leverkusen manager Jupp Heynckes and former German international Matthias Sammer for the role.
The challenge of putting Bayern back on top of German football would certainly be one that would appeal to Hughes.
After winning a domestic double last season under van Gaal – and reaching the Champions League final, only to be beaten by Inter once again – inconsistency and disgruntlements between the manager and senior players have seen Bayern struggle, by their own high standards, in the Bundesliga this season.
They currently trail league-leaders Borussia Dortmund by a staggering 16 points with eight games remaining and were also recently knocked out of the German Cup by mid-table Schalke 04, the only German side remaining in the Champions League.
Nonetheless, Hughes, who had a spell on loan at Bayern during the 1987-88 season, believes that it is that previous connection that is putting attention in his direction.
“It’s very flattering but I’m quite happy doing what I’m doing at the moment,” said the Fulham manager.
“Sometimes, when a job becomes vacant then people look around to see whether there are any connections in terms of past playing careers or whatever. I think there’s no more in it than that.”
Hughes has a contract in West London until the end of next season, and after a difficult start with Fulham, largely due to injuries to key players like Bobby Zamora and Moussa Dembele, the 47-year-old has overseen a rise into mid-table safety in the last few months.
However, whilst Hughes says he has no immediate plans to move, managing abroad is something that he would like to do in the future.
“If opportunities in the future present themselves, I think it would be part of my football education and something that I’d want to do,” he said.
“But I’m not looking to do it at the moment.”