• Premier League

Hughes set to be appointed Stoke boss

ESPN staff
May 29, 2013
Mark Hughes has been out of management for six months © Getty Images

Mark Hughes will end his six-month exile from top-flight management and be confirmed as the new Stoke City manager on Wednesday, ESPN understands.

Hughes concluded a second round of negotiations with the Stoke City chairman Peter Coates on Tuesday, following discussions over the weekend, and appears set for a return to the Premier League as Tony Pulis' successor.

Sources close to the club claim there has been significant progress in Stoke's bid to lure the 49-year-old to the Britannia Stadium, following his sacking by Queens Park Rangers last November.

Hughes is expected to sign a one-year rolling contract after emerging as Coates' first choice following Pulis' dismissal last week.

His proposed appointment has caused anger among some sections of the Stoke supporters, but Coates believes Hughes is a safe pair of hands as the club look for a smooth transition following the end of Pulis' seven-year reign.

Stoke had also been linked with Roberto Martinez, Roberto Di Matteo and Gus Poyet, but Coates feels Hughes will be a better fit with the current playing staff.

It is believed that Hughes has agreed to work with a far tighter budget than the one he received at QPR as Coates looks to cut back on his investment, which has so far run close to £100 million since he purchased the club.

Hughes also understands Stoke's desire to place greater emphasis on the club's academy and start to produce homegrown players as Coates looks to make the club more self-sufficient over the next four years.

Coaches Mark Bowen, Eddie Neidzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock are expected to follow Hughes to the Britannia Stadium and replace the outgoing backroom team, including Dave Kemp and Gerry Francis.

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