MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 09:14:29| >> :60:849:849:

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes plays down links with Chelsea

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes admits it is "nice" to be linked with Chelsea but stresses it is just speculation and that he is "very happy" in his current job.

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has played down suggestions that he could become Chelsea's next full-time manager.

Recent reports have claimed that Chelsea are considering the possibility of giving a current Premier League boss like Hughes, Claudio Ranieri or Eddie Howe the chance to prove their worth with the Blues.

Although Hughes, who turned out for Chelsea in his playing days, admitted that it was "nice" to be linked with the defending Premier League champions, he insisted that he was "very happy" at Stoke.

"There is a little bit of speculation about certain roles in the Premier League at the moment, and at some point, if you have a decent spell, you get mentioned in dispatches. I think it is no more and no less than that," the Welshman told reporters.

"I think everyone just tries to cover all bases and mentions everybody, and this week I got a mention. It's nice to be mentioned I suppose, because that reflects well maybe on me but more so on the players and how well they are doing, which is how it should be because we are having a decent season.

"But we are fully focused here and enjoying what we are doing. It is a good time to be at Stoke. Everybody feels we are going in the right direction and building something. So I'm very happy."

Hughes is under contract at the Britannia Stadium until the summer of 2019.

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