MARK Hughes has been appointed as the new manager of Manchester City.

City today confirmed they have reached an agreement with Hughes and the former Blackburn boss will be formally unveiled by the club at a press conference tomorrow morning.

The 44-year-old Welshman has put pen to paper on a three-year contract and takes up his new post with immediate effect.

Rovers chairman John Williams said: "We've enjoyed a first class, mutually beneficial relationship with Mark. He leaves the club in a strong position with three consecutive top 10 finishes and an excellent squad of players.

"In turn, we have helped Mark to establish himself as one of the most sought-after young British managers in the business, having previously had no club management experience.

"We wish him well. We would have liked him to stay on, but he made it clear he wanted a fresh challenge.

"Now our focus switches to the search for a successor. We've enjoyed eight years of success and stability with Graeme Souness and Mark, and now it's important that we build on our strengths.

"We must make sure it's three successful appointments in a row."

City's new executive chairman Gary Cook said: "I am delighted to welcome Mark on board. In our view he is the brightest young manager in the game and he was our number one target for the manager's job.

"He made it clear to us from the moment we met that he shared our vision and ambition to make Manchester City one of the top sides in the country.

"It's a privilege to join Dr Thaksin here at Manchester City. There is no better opportunity in world football."The Club intends to invest in new players as well as securing the long term services of key members of the current first team squad.

"Mark has already identified some of the players and backroom staff that he wants to see here at City, and we will begin the process of recruiting them immediately."