Aaron Hughes open to club move abroad to extend club career

Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes is interested in a move abroad
Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes is interested in a move abroad

Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes has declared an interest in playing abroad as he seeks to extend his club and international football career.

The 35-year-old is on the lookout for a new club after being released by Brighton at the end of last season.

"I've played in England my whole career so it might be a nice change to go somewhere," he told BBC NI.

Hughes is excited about Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifying hopes ahead of Saturday's tie with Romania.

Michael O'Neill's men are currently second in the Group F table, just one point behind leaders Romania who they play in Windsor Park.

"Without getting ahead of ourselves, we're just in a fantastic place in the group where we can make a push," said Hughes, who became Northern Ireland's most capped outfield player winning his 96th cap in the recent friendly against Qatar..

Hughes says team spirit key to NI success

"The excitement of thinking what could be ahead, I think, is what gets me most."

Hughes admits the uncertainty over his club future is "not ideal" given the importance of Northern Ireland's next few games, and possible qualification for next summer's Euro 2016 finals in France.

The former Newcastle, Aston Villa and Fulham defender is hoping to have his future resolved soon, and says playing overseas is an attractive possibility.

"I'm quite open to any option right now," he said.

"I wouldn't say no to anything until I looked at it and weighed it up.

"Getting the chance to play somewhere different, somewhere new, getting a chance to maybe learn a new language, is something I've kept trying to do and been too lazy to actually get round to doing it.

"That sort of appeals to me.

"That's the exciting side of what's ahead.

"The stressful side, or not so exciting side, is making sure to get something sorted once the (internationals) are finished to look ahead to next year."