Hughes heads to Sixfields

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Northampton have beaten off competition from a number of rival league clubs to land Mark Hughes from Everton.

The Cobblers were in the market for a new centre-back following the departure of Luke Chambers to Nottingham Forest and manager Stuart Gray settled on Hughes.

Hughes had the option to extend his stay at Goodison Park, while a number of other clubs expressed interest in signing the 20-year-old, but he decided to make the move to Sixfields.

The defender has put his name to a two-and-a-half-year contract and Gray is delighted to have won the race for the player's signature.

"We are delighted to have signed Mark," Gray told the club's website. "He is a player I have known for a while and he is highly rated. That is confirmed by the number of clubs who have been chasing him in this transfer window.

"We are very fortunate to have got him and I am sure he will be an asset for us.

"Everton were keen to offer him a new contract but he is at the age where he needs to be playing first-team football and although he had been close to the first team, he has found his progress blocked at Goodison Park and that is why he decided to move on.

"I hope he will be a decent signing for us, not just this season but in the future as well. Hopefully Everton's loss will be our gain."