NI defender Aaron Hughes ponders Oldham Athletic offer

Aaron Hughes and Pat Jennings are the only Northern Ireland players to reach 100 caps
Aaron Hughes and Pat Jennings are the only Northern Ireland players to reach 100 caps

Veteran Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes is reported to be considering a contract offer from League One club Oldham Athletic.

Hughes, 36, has been without a club since a brief spell in Australia with Melbourne City.

Stephen Robinson recently took over as manager of Oldham, having left his roles as Northern Ireland coach and assistant boss at Motherwell.

Robinson said he was trying to sign two Northern Ireland players.

Having spent the bulk of his career in the top flight with Newcastle, Aston Villa and Fulham, Hughes could be reluctant to drop down to League One and it is believed he has other offers to carry on playing.

However, after a one-year stint in Australia, his familiarity with 41-year-old Robinson could persuade him to link up with the former Northern Ireland coach in his first managerial post.

Hughes played in three matches at Euro 2016, taking him to 103 international caps.

"There are a couple of Northern Ireland internationals I am currently speaking to," former Luton and Bournemouth player Robinson told Press Association Sport.

"I have spoken to one in particular. At this moment, he is not going to commit. It is something we are still working on. It would be a massive signing for Oldham."

'There's a lot more to be achieved'

Robinson's first phone call after holding discussions with Oldham was to his "mentor", Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who encouraged him to take the job even though it meant losing him from his backroom team.

However, Robinson stressed he believes his country can reach greater heights still after the Euros, provided O'Neill is not signed up by a club side too.

"As long as they keep hold of Michael, there's a lot more to be achieved. The man can achieve anything he wants in football," added Robinson.

"It wasn't a case of I think that was as far as we can go. It was more the opportunity of Oldham and managing in League One and being able to put my stamp on things, that was the temptation."

Stephen Robinson has taken up his first managerial role at Oldham Athletic
Stephen Robinson has taken up his first managerial role at Oldham Athletic

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